Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/07/2012 -- BMI believes that global conditions are aligned for a slowdown in Canadian growth, but only a moderate one. Our US real GDP growth forecast for 2012 has remained unrevised since the beginning of the year, at 2.0%. US and Canadian growth tend to move in tandem, and we expect that general rule to hold, signalling moderate growth in both countries. We forecast that net exports will be a net negative for growth in 2012 for the third consecutive year. We have not changed our growth forecasts for real exports or real imports for 2012, as they had already reflected our view that global demand would moderate. Our real export growth projections are 4.2% in 2012 and 5.7% in 2013 (compared to 4.4% in 2011), while our import forecasts are 3.6% in 2012 and 4.1% in 2013.
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Despite our view for moderating growth, BMI maintains its broadly optimistic outlook for Canadian port sector, indicating a strong base for growth at the country's ports. Total throughput will be driven by steady imports, boding well for ports and the shipping sector. Coal and grains exports should also boost throughput volumes during our forecast period.
Headline Industry Data
- 2012 Port of Vancouver tonnage throughput forecast to grow 2.7%. Over the medium term we project average annual growth of 2.6% to reach 139mn tonnes in 2016.
- 2012 Port of Vancouver container throughput forecast to grow 5.6% in 2012. Over the medium term we project a 5.9% increase to reach 3.3mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2016.
Key Industry Trends
Montreal To Benefit From FTA
A free trade agreement (FTA) between Canada and the EU will result in upside risk for the Port of Montreal's throughput over the medium term. The port's strategic location along one of the busiest trade routes in Canada, the Ontario-Quebec corridor, will position it to capture a significant amount of the increased trade across the Atlantic.
PetroChina Joins Canada Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project
Asian energy giant PetroChina is to join with Shell Canada and major energy companies in Japan and South Korea to develop a liquefied natural gas export project in British Columbia, according to reports. Shell will hold a 40% stake in the project, with Korea Gas, Mitsubishi and PetroChina each holding 20% shares, the Chinese state oil and gas company said. Under the plan large tankers are to transport LNG from the northwest coast port of Kitimat in British Columbia to Asian markets.
Saint Lawrence Seaway Cargo Volume Up
A jump in coal shipments helped boost cargo volume on the Saint Lawrence Seaway by 2.2% in the first five weeks of the waterway season in 2012. Coal shipments rose 40% year-on-year (y-o-y) between March 22 and April 30.
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