Just Released: "Israel Freight Transport Report Q4 2013".
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Headline Industry Data
* 2013 air freight growth is forecast at 1.2%; we project average growth of 1.6% per annum to 2017.
* 2013 Port of Haifa tonnage throughput growth is forecast at 6.9%, following growth of 6.2% in 2012, and to average 3.3% per annum to 2017.
* 2013 rail freight tonnage is forecast to grow by 1.3%, following an estimated decline of 3.0% in 2012, and to average 1.7% to 2017.
* Total trade growth in real terms in 2013 is forecast to grow 1.6% and average 2.3% to 2017.
Key Industry Trends
War Reveals Unexpected Opportunities: As the civil war in Syria continues, looking likelier by the day to result in foreign intervention of some degree or other, so trade routes in the Middle East remain disrupted. The Lebanese port of Beirut is the most obvious beneficiary, but a less obvious one has been Israel, where increasing ro-ro shipments from Turkey are passing through en route to Jordan and the Gulf states.
Privatisation Moves Forward: In July 2013 we wrote that the threat of downside risk to our container throughput forecasts for the Israeli ports of Haifa and Ashdod appeared to have abated, with the Histadrut labour federation, which is present in both facilities and are against the planned privatisation of these port's container terminals, unlikely to call a strike in protest against the planned privatisation, as such a move would be reportedly be opposed by 83% of Israelis. BMI highlights that planned privatisations, and with them investment in the nation's ports, are essential if Israel is to remain on the rotations of major shipping services.
Valmer To End Israeli Service: Maltese shipping company Valmer Lines Shipping announced in August that it will end its service to Israel. The company attributed the decision to a combination of factors, including the industrial unrest caused by the Israeli government's decision to build two new container terminals and the low level of freight rates.
Key Risks To Outlook
Israel's drive to develop its port sector through establishing private facilities offers the greatest risk to our outlook at present given the high likelihood that the existing ports of Haifa and Ashdod could stage strikes in protest against the move.
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