Japan's largest port in terms of tonnage, the Port of Nagoya, is set to continue sluggish growth in 2013,
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
? 2013 port of Nagoya tonnage throughput forecast to grow 1%, over the medium term we project a 15
? 2013 port of Tokyo container throughput forecast to grow 3%, over the medium term we project a 25
? 2013 total trade growth forecast at 1.25%.
Key Industry Trends
Automotives Export Outlook Driving PCTC Interest: Interest in the pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) sector
is picking up, with two major orders in the last two months. The sector was hit hard during the downturn as
automotives export demand shrunk, along with global trade in general. However, the positive growth
outlook for automotives exports and the sector's increasing transport needs in the medium term is now
leading shipping firms to once again order PCTCs.
Intra-Asia Still Offers Shelter: The launch of new intra-Asia services highlights that the trend for greater
regional connections shows no sign of abating. Trade volumes between Taiwan and Japan are in the
spotlight, with both services - operated by two different carriers - focusing on port links between these two
LNG Terminal At The Port of Soma Being Considered: Japan Petroleum Exploration Co (Japex) is
considering developing its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal to be located at the port of
Soma, Fukushima prefecture. The facility would have a ready market in north Japan as the region remains
sensitive to the use of nuclear in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011. Should proposed
Canadian LNG export projects and Gazprom's Vladivostok LNG development materialise by 2020, the
Soma LNG receiving terminal's location along the Pacific Coast would also make it easily accessible for
Operators Decrease Exposure To Dry Bulk: With slowing demand and continued overcapacity, the dry bulk
shipping sectors' operational outlook looks tough, and it is no wonder that companies are starting to
question their exposure to it.
Risks to Outlook
The base for growth at the country's ports stems from BMI's positive outlook for the Japanese economy,
with the country's real GDP estimated to rise 0.9% in 2013 and 1.2% in 2014.
However, container throughput at the country's ports might suffer. Problems in Japan's major export
markets are structural rather than cyclical and point to a much slower recovery for Japan's export demand,
leading BMI to revise down our export forecast. Another collapse in external demand, as was seen in the
height of the global financial crisis, presents major downside risk to our exports outlook, casting a shadow
over Japanese exporters and, by extension, export volumes at Japan's ports.
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