Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/04/2013 -- Japan's largest port in terms of tonnage, the Port of Nagoya, is set to continue marginal growth in 2012, while we expect more pronounced increases at the country's other major ports.
Country's largest container facility in terms of throughput, the Port of Tokyo, is expected to further increase box volumes, after it staged prompt and full recovery of its 2008 container handling levels. Over the medium term we project further growth at the country's ports; however, Nagoya will not be able to complete the recovery of its pre-downturn total tonnage.
Headline Industry Data
- 2012 port of Nagoya tonnage throughput forecast to grow 0.2%, over the medium term we project a 14% increase.
- 2012 port of Tokyo container throughput forecast to grow 2.5%, over the medium term we project a 22% increase.
- 2012 total trade growth forecast at 1.0%.
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Key Industry Trends
Brighter Outlook for Japanese Box Lines
Japanese Container Lines' fiscal Q1 2012 results highlight BMI's view that, while the container shipping sector is still some way off a full recovery, increasing global volumes, improvements in freight rates and a declining in the price of bunker fuel do offer the box shipping market some respite from its recent woes.
Japan's Shipbuilding Decline Indicative of Market
BMI believes that the decline in Japanese ship orders in June 2012 once again highlights the continuing drop in orders at the country's yards, with Japan's orders now down year-on-year (y-o-y) for H112. The decline is attributable to both the difficult operating environment facing the shipbuilding industry and Japan's slide in the ranks of global shipbuilders in recent years.
Shipowners Scrap for Cash
NYK Line's scrapping of two Capesize vessels is indicative of the oversupply of vessels in the dry bulk industry and weakening demand for key commodities such as iron ore. While scrapping levels are poised for a second consecutive year of record growth in 2012, fleet expansion (as a result of both past orders coming online and opportunistic shipowners buying vessels for cheap) will impede freight rate recovery over the medium term (2012-2016), to the detriment of struggling dry bulk carriers.
Industry Woes Reflected by Sanko's Bankruptcy
Sanko Steamship's bankruptcy is in large part a reflection of the beleaguered state of the dry bulk shipping sector. Sanko shares the same fate of many other ship operators before it, and BMI believes that more bankruptcies will follow before the dry bulk shipping industry turns around.
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