Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/29/2014 -- We forecast Colombian real GDP to expand by 4.1% in 2013 and 4.3% in 2014, up from 4.0% in 2012. However, ongoing labour disruptions to exports pose downside risks to our medium-term growth outlook, which also feeds into our forecasts for the country's freight industry. That said, we maintain a favourable long-term growth outlook, as investment into the infrastructure and oil and gas sectors, combined with a strengthening consumer, will drive robust real GDP growth in the coming years.
We forecast real government consumption growth to moderate from 5.1% in 2012 to 4.0% in 2013 and 3.0% in 2014, as the government remains committed to its fiscal consolidation drive. However, we are seeing increasing scope for the government to increase spending across several sectors that have had a relatively weak performance in recent months. Indeed, the agriculture sector was hard hit by a strong currency early in the year, which saw exports contract, and drove substantial protests among farmers. This year we expect the Port of Cartagena to record impressive year-on-year (y-o-y) growth, coming in at just under 10%, on the back of a terrific 2013 (30% tonnage growth). Rail freight will also see healthy growth of just below 7%, ahead of the road and air freight modes (5.70% and 4.50% respectively).
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Headline Industry Data
- The Port of Cartagena will see total tonnage volume increase by 9.79% to 18.55mn tonnes in 2014.
- Volume at the Pacific port of Buenaventura will be up by a more restrained 2.39% to 10.14mn tonnes.
- Air freight tonnage handled will grow by 4.5% in 2014.
- Road freight tonnage handled will increase by 5.70% in 2014.
- Rail freight tonnage handled will rise by 6.8% in 2014.
Key Trends and Developments
Tampa Cargo Acquires A330-200 Freighter Aircraft - Colombia-based Avianca-Taca's subsidiary Tampa Cargo purchased the first of four new Airbus A330-200 freighter aircrafts in January 2013. The delivery is part of a fleet renewal programme by the cargo airline. The acquisition is likely to enable Tampa Cargo to enhance its presence in new and existing international markets, including Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, the US and Uruguay. Meanwhile, a total of 190 Airbus aircraft have been acquired by Avianca-Taca.
Channel Deepening Priority For Buenaventura - The Colombian port of Buenaventura has identified as a priority the need to deepen its main access channel, in order to ensure that it is capable of handling the larger ships that are expected to ply the waters in the wake of the widening of the Panama Canal's locks. At present the port's draught in the inner bay is 12.5 metres (m) and 13.5m in the external.
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