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Qatar Freight Transport Report 2012
Business Monitor International, December 2011, Pages: 48
The Qatari shipping sector continues to be dominated by the export of the country's key commodity, natural gas, through the export terminal of Ras Laffan. Much of this is transported by national carrier Nakilat. However, the country aims to increase its container and dry bulk shipping presence as well, through the development of the New Doha port, which is being developed to focus on capturing some lucrative transhipment trade.
The country is not only investing in its ports. There are also significant developments in road and rail, not least the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) rail network and the causeway that will link Qatar with Bahrain. BMI forecasts moderate growth in trade and port throughput in Qatar over the medium term.
Headline Industry Data
- 2012 port of Doha tonnage throughput forecast to grow 4.8% and to average 3.0% a year to 2016 (including transferred operations to New Doha from 2015).
- 2012 air freight tonne km to grow by 9.7%, and to average 7.9% to 2016.
- 2012 total trade growth forecast at 4.0%, and to average 2.3% over our forecast period.
Key Industry Trends
New Doha Port Needed, But Transhipment Plan Misguided
By laying the foundations for its new port in October, Qatar hopes it is laying the foundations for not only a premier maritime facility to serve its rapidly expanding economy, but also the possibility of having its own regional transhipment hub. BMI cautions, however, that although domestic demand for a new facility is explicit, it is not believed that the transhipment demand in the Gulf is sufficient to support the slew of facilities being developed, to target this trade. In October Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Crown Prince of Qatar, laid the foundation stone for the New Doha Port in Qatar. The new port will take over operations from the current Doha port from 2015, if work runs according to schedule. Qatar has been one of the world's fastest growing economies in 2011. According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2010, Qatar has 13.5% of the world's natural gas and it is the export of this that is fuelling the small country's rapid growth. BMI forecasts real GDP growth of 17.2% in 2011, falling to 7.8% in 2012 following moderating oil and gas prices, which will affect exports, government spending and the supply of credit.
Iran Attempts To Circumvent Sanctions With Qatar Airways Deal
BMI believes that a new deal struck between the Iranian government and Qatar Airways will help the pariah state circumvent strict sanctions and could provide upside risk to our air freight forecasts for not only Iran, but also Qatar.
Aggressive Expansion Of Middle Eastern Carriers Sets Established Players On Edge
In June 2011 Qatar Airways confirmed it has acquired a 35% stake in Cargolux, Europe's largest freightonly carrier. BMI notes that the acquisition is in line with the airline's strategy of aggressive expansion in the air freight sector. This is a strategy shared by other Middle Eastern carriers and has not gone unnoticed by the more established airfreight carriers.
Risks To Outlook
With the Qatari economy so reliant on the export of hydrocarbons, the key risk to the BMI forecasts is a drop in the global price of gas. Although risks, that popular unrest might spill into Qatar's political arena are minimal, investors' perception vis-à-vis the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have been weakened, which could certainly hit Qatar's banking sector. At the least, ongoing apprehension over the scope and duration of the political crisis could result in banks becoming significantly more hesitant to lend over the coming quarters, which could undermine our loan growth forecast in 2011. This in turn could affect BMI's trade and freight transport volume forecasts for Qatar.
Qatar Freight Transport SWOT
Qatar Political SWOT
Qatar Economic SWOT
Qatar Business Environment SWOT
Industry Trends And Developments
Global Oil Products Price Outlook
Table: Air Freight, 2009-2016
Table: Maritime Freight - Throughput, 2009-2016 ('000 Tonnes)
Table: Trade Overview, 2009-2016
Table: Key Trade Indicators, 2009-2016 (US$mn and % change y-o-y)
Table: Qatar's Main Import Partners, 2002-2009 (US$mn)
Table: Qatar's Main Export Partners, 2002-2009 (US$mn)
Long-Term Political Outlook
Qatar - Economic Activity
Qatar Airways Cargo
Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat)
United Arab Shipping Company (UASC)
How We Generate Our Industry Forecasts
- Qatar Airways Cargo
- Qatar Navigation
- Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat)
- United Arab Shipping Company (UASC)
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