Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/11/2013 -- Kuwait's ports have struggled to recover the volumes they enjoyed prior to the global economic downturn, but BMI expects this largely to be achieved in 2012, with only total tonnage throughput at Shuaiba not forecast to recoup lost levels until 2013. Downside risks from industrial actions by ports and customs workers appear to have dissipated.
What does bode well for Kuwait's container ports is our macroeconomic outlook for the country. Oil prices remain elevated, and this is translating into spending by the Kuwaiti government. This will help maintain growth at the Gulf state's ports, both through spending on infrastructure projects impacting on total tonnage throughputs, and consumer spending boosting imports of containerised goods.
Headline Industry Data
- 2012 Port of Shuaiba tonnage throughput growth forecast at 4.8% and to average 5.0% to 2016.
- 2012 Port of Shuwaikh container throughput forecast to grow 6.9% and to average 6.8% to 2016.
- 2012 total trade growth forecast to grow 3.6% and to average 3.8% to 2016.
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Key Industry Trends
Kuwaiti Mega Port Construction Suspended: The final phase of construction of Kuwait's Mubarak al- Kabir port has been suspended. This follows negotiations between the respective governments of Iraq and Kuwait. The port, which was initially intended to have 60 wharves, will now instead have 24. The project was criticised amid fears of its impact on Iraqi ports.
KOTC To Receive Nine Takers In FY14/15: Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC) is scheduled to receive nine new tankers from two South Korean companies in FY14/15, said KOTC's chairman Bader al- Khashti. The company will receive five crude tankers from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, while Hyundai Mipo Dockyard will deliver four crude tankers. The tankers are part of KOTC's third phase fleet expansion plan worth US$1.75bn. KOTC will pay nearly US$556mn for the new ships from Daewoo.
Risks To Outlook
Downside risks to our throughput forecasts come in the form of the exposure to oil price volatility and a slowdown in global demand. Despite the broadly healthy picture of Kuwait's public finances, its high reliance on oil - which accounts for 94% of total revenues - exposes the budget and, consequently, trade to oil price volatility.
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