Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/12/2014 -- While the outlook for China's traditional economic growth drivers such as heavy industry and real estate construction remains cloudy, the outlook facing the more consumer-focussed industries is relatively strong over the medium term. Overall, though, as the traditional sectors remain the dominant drivers of the economy, we remain below consensus in our real GDP growth outlook.
After a decade-long cycle of high commodities prices partly boosted by stellar demand growth in China, the ongoing slowdown of the country's economy and rebalancing away from metal-intensive manufacturing and construction sectors raises questions over the future of China's commodities demand and import needs, with a possible negative knock-on effect on dry bulk imports in particular. We also caution that the inevitable bursting of the ongoing credit bubble could serve to undermine the profitability of the consumer-focussed industries. We expect the economy to expand by 6.7% in 2014, but caution that there are downside risks to this forecast.
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Headline Industry Data
- 2014 Port of Shanghai tonnage throughput forecast to grow 6.1%, with container growth of 5.7% forecast for the year.
- 2014 Port of Shenzhen container throughput forecast to grow 2.4%, with average growth of 2.3% during our forecast period.
- 2014 real trade growth forecast at 7.23% - a considerable increase from 2012's estimated 2.51%.
Key Industry Trends
Ningbo's Intermodal Strategy Pays Off: Ningbo-Zhoushan's strategy to develop intermodal links with the developing manufacturing hubs in China's hinterland is paying dividends, with growth in the sector boosting the port's container throughput.
Chinese Ports Register 7.3% Rise In Container Throughput: China-wide maritime ports registered a 7.3% year-on-year (y-o-y) rise in container throughput to 173mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in January-November. Seaports managed to handle 155mn TEUs in the same period, representing a rise of 7.5% y-o-y. River port volumes also posted a 5.7% y-o-y rise to 18.53mn TEUs in the first 11 months of 2013.
Rizhao Aiming To Remain Number One Iron Ore Port With Expansion: Strong demand means more ports in China need to cater for growing iron ore imports. The port of Rizhao's joint venture with Shandong Iron & Steel and Shandong State-owned Assets Investment Holdings Company highlights this trend as more manufacturers tie up with ports to develop iron ore-focused facilities so their supply chain needs can be met.
Key Risks To Outlook
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