Vietnam Shipping Report Q3 2013: New research report available at Fast Market Research

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Fri Jun 14 2013

Vietnam's export outlook will continue to be bolstered by China's growth outlook over the short and medium term. Although we project China's economic growth to slow over the medium term, the real GDP growth is still robust, estimated at 7.5% in 2013 and 6.4% over the medium term, which should have a beneficial impact on the shipping sector in Vietnam.

Vietnam plays a key role in China's coal supply chain. The country is China's fifth-largest coal exporter, providing the country with the thermal coal it requires for its power stations. Vietnam's role in this supply chain looks set to continue, although BMI highlights that China is trying to decrease its power sector's reliance on coal. While we believe that coal-fired power plants' percentage in China's energy mix will slip over the medium term, it will remain above 70%.

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Vietnam's ports and shipping sectors play a role in the global dry, liquid and container sectors. As highlighted earlier, Vietnam plays a considerable role in China's coal supply chain, with the dry bulk commodity being shipped out of Vietnam and into China's main coal port of Qinhuangdao. Vietnam is an oil-producing nation, but its consumption needs have come to outweigh its supply and so the country is making use of the liquid bulk shipping sector for the import of oil.

It is in the container shipping sector that Vietnam has seen the most development - a trend which is expected to continue. As Vietnam has become the factory of Asia, with an emphasis on the development of clothing and shoe exports, the country's ports and shipping links have had to keep up. As mentioned, considerable investment was ploughed into Vietnam's container terminal sector over the last five years, with international players participating. This investment is now starting to yield results, with Vietnam now directly connected to the key demand market of the US (in 2009) and Europe (in 2010).

The development of Vietnam's liner connections is highlighted by data from UNCTAD's liner connectivity index. In 2004, Vietnam was ranked lowest out of its 14 Asian peers in terms of container line connectivity. By 2012 it had jumped up the rankings to eighth place among its 14 Asian neighbours.

The Port of Ho Chi Minh City remains by far the country's main port and will also be Vietnam's outperformer in terms of year-on-year (y-o-y) tonnage handled in 2013 - forecast to increase 7.56% this year to reach 38.75mn tonnes, compared with the Port of Da Nang's predicted annual growth of 4.26% (4.16mn tonnes). On the other hand, it will be the Port of Da Nang that will enjoy the higher levels of annual growth in terms of containers handled, with double-digit y-o-y growth forecast in 2013, as opposed to the Port of Ho Chi Minh City's protracted growth of 7.95%.

Headline Industry Data

* 2013 tonnage throughput at the Port of Ho Chi Minh City is forecast to grow 7.56% to 38.75mn tonnes.

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