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24 settembre 2020 Il quotidiano on-line per gli operatori e gli utenti del trasporto 13:57 GMT+2



ESPO
ANNUAL REPORT 2006-2007

 

II. MARKET REPORT ON THE EUROPEAN SEAPORT INDUSTRY(*)

 

1. General developments

1.1 Economic background: world output and world merchandise trades

According to the International Monetary Fund (2006), world output increased by a very healthy 4.9% in 2005, slightly down from the growth rate of 5.3% recorded the year before. As Table 1 indicates, all major regions of the world experienced positive output growth in 2005, albeit to a different extent. With a growth rate of 2.6%, the economic performance of the advanced economies clearly lagged behind the world average. While the United States performed well, growth in the Euro Area was rather modest, due to low growth rates of Germany and France, its two biggest economies. Output in Japan increased 2.6%, while the United Kingdom witnessed real GDP growth of just 1.9%, wellbelow the 3.3% growth of the year before. Significantly better growth rates were obtained by economies in Africa (5.4%), Central and Eastern Europe (5.4%) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) (6.5%). The star performers, however, were China and India with real GDP increases of 10.2% and 8.5%, respectively. In 2006, China’s GDP increased by another 10.5% while India remained at 8.5%. Registering a growth rate of 5.7%, countries in the Middle East scored slightly better than the world average. After a year of frail economic growth in 2005, GDP growth in Europe rebound in 2006 to around 3%. The strongest growers in 2006 were Latvia (11.9%), Estonia (10.9%), Slovakia (8%) and Romania (6%). Over the 2007-2012 period, GDP in the Euro Area is expected to rise on average by 2% per annum.

 

Table1: World output growth for selected regions (annual percentage changes)

 

2004

2005

2006(1)

2007(1)

         

World output

5.3

4.9

5.1

4.9

         

Advanced economies

3.2

2.6

3.1

2.7

United States

3.9

3.2

3.4

2.9

Euro Area

2.1

1.3

2.4

2.0

Germany

1.2

0.9

2.0

1.3

France

2.0

1.2

2.4

2.3

Italy

1.1

-

1.5

1.3

Spain

3.1

3.4

3.4

3.0

Japan

2.3

2.6

2.7

2.1

United Kingdom

3.3

1.9

2.7

2.7

Canada

3.3

2.9

3.1

3.0

Other advanced economies

4.6

3.7

4.1

3.7

Newly industrialized Asian economies

5.9

4.5

4.9

4.4

         

Other emerging market and developing countries

7.7

7.4

7.3

7.2

Africa

5.5

5.4

5.4

5.9

Central and Eastern Europe

6.5

5.4

5.3

5.0

Commonwealth of Independent States

8.4

6.5

6.8

6.5

Developing Asia

8.8

9.0

8.7

8.6

China

10.1

10.2

10.0

10.0

India

8.0

8.5

8.3

7.3

ASEAN-4

5.8

5.1

5.0

5.6

Middle East

5.5

5.7

5.8

5.4

Source: IMF (2006) (1) projections

(*) Authored by Bert Vernimmen and Theo Notteboom, ITMMA - University of Antwerp

 

In view of the above, it comes as no surprise that merchandise trade expanded strongly in recent years (see Table 2). After a very remarkable growth of 9.5% in 2004 (largely due to double-digit growth in Asia, the CIS and Latin America), the volume of world exports increased by another 6% in 2005. The slowdown in 2005 was particularly pronounced during the first months of the year, but a recovery was apparent by late June onwards, in spite of high oil and commodity prices and doubts about the persistence of strong demand in the Chinese market (UNCTAD, 2006:2).

 

Table 2: Growth in the volume of merchandise trade by geographical region (annual percentage changes)

 

Exports

Imports

Region/Country

2003

2004

2005

2003

2004

2005

World

5.0

9.5

6.0

-

-

-

North America

3.0

8.0

6.0

5.5

10.5

6.5

European Union (25)

0.9

7.0

3.5

1.8

6.0

2.5

Africa and Middle East

-

7.0

7.5

-

13.5

12.0

Latin America

4.5

12.5

10.0

1.6

18.5

14.0

Asia

-

14.0

9.5

11.1

14.0

7.5

CIS

-

13.0

4.5

10.9

16.0

16.5

Japan

-

10.5

1.0

-

7.0

2.5

China

-

24.0

25.0

-

21.5

11.5

Source: UNCTAD (2006)

Among the developed economies, the EU-25 and Japan experienced a significant deceleration of export growth during 2005 (with the Japanese export growth being decimated), while growth in North American exports decreased by a modest 2 percentage points to 6%. Export growth for Africa and the Middle East (7.5%) was above the world average, while Latin American countries enjoyed a very healthy 10% growth. The star performer in 2005 was (again) China, registering a staggering increase of 25% in export volume, following an already remarkable 24% growth in 2004. Hence, Chinese exports increased by no less than 55% in just two years time.

The preliminary figures available for growth in import volumes indicate double-digit growth for countries in the CIS (16.5%), developing countries in Central and South America (14%) and developing countries in Africa and the Middle East (12%). China followed closely behind with 11.5% growth in imports. These growth percentages are well-above those of developed countries, where the performance of North America (6.5%) was significantly better than that of the EU-25 and Japan.

Figures for 2006 are not yet available, but according to the UNCTAD, "prospects for export growth [in 2006] are based on the acceleration of the economic activity of European Union economies, as the potential for further acceleration of the US economy and the main economies of the Far East is deemed to be limited. In spite of uncertainties concerning the prices of commodities and their supply, it is expected that exports could increase by about 7% in 2006" (UNCTAD, 2006:3).

 

1.2 Development of world seaborne trade

As indicated by Table 3, international seaborne trade increased by an estimated 3.8% in 2005 to reach a total volume of 7.11 billion tons. This followed strong expansions of 6.2% and 5.3%, respectively, in 2003 and 2004. The figure of 7.11 billion tons of international seaborne trade in 2005 comprised 2.42 billion tons of tanker cargo (34.1%) and 4.69 billion tons of dry cargo (65.9%). The first category, in turn, consisted of about 1.86 billion tons (76.7%) of crude oil and 565 million tons (23.3%) of petroleum products.

Just like the previous years, major crude oil loading areas in 2005 included the developing countries in Western Asia (934.5 million tons), the Caribbean (247.6 million tons), West Africa (196.3 million tons) and North Africa (130.2 million tons). The main discharging areas were located in developed market-economy countries in North America (537.7 million tons), Europe (438.4 million tons) and Japan (215 million tons). Apart from these, a substantial volume of crude oil was also discharged in developing countries in South and East Asia.

The volume of 565 million tons of petroleum products represented an increase of 5.8% compared to 2004. The pattern and volume of shipments were similar to those of past years, with shipments of Russian petroleum products from Baltic ports in small tankers continuing to have an impact in other countries. The last quarter of the year witnessed an increase in the shipments of products to North America because of the damage done to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season (UNCTAD, 2006:11). Finally, it is worthwhile to note that shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) increased by 5.4% in 2004 to reach a total volume of 178 billion cubic metres. Supplies mainly came from Indonesia, Malaysia, Qatar, Algeria, Trinidad, Nigeria and Australia, while the largest importing area was located in the Far East (in particular Japan and Republic of Korea).

 

Table 3: Development of international seaborne trade (loaded goods) for selected years

Year

Tanker cargo

Dry cargo

Total cargo

 

m tonnes

% change

m tonnes

% change

m tonnes

% change

1990

1,755

 

2,253

 

4,008

 

2000

2,163

 

3,821

 

5,984

 

2001

2,177

0.6%

3,844

0.6%

6,021

0.6%

2002

2,139

-1.7%

3,981

3.6%

6,120

.6%

2003

2,226

4.1%

4,274

7.4%

6,500

6.2%

2004

2,318

4.1%

4,528

5.9%

6,846

5.3%

2005(*)

2,422

4.5%

4,687

3.5%

7,109

3.8%

Source: UNCTAD (2006)
(*) estimate

1

World crude steel production surpassed the 1 billion tons mark for the second year in a row during 2005, mainly due to a very remarkable 24.6% increase in Chinese steel production. This was followed by another 18.5% increase in 2006. As a result, China had a market share of 34% in worldwide crude steel production in 2006 (cf. infra).

Table 3 reveals that it is especially the dry cargo sector which expanded strongly in recent years, although the 3.5% growth rate in 2005 was rather modest compared to the years before. The total volume of 4.69 billion tons in 2005 consisted of 1.70 billion tons of the five traditional dry bulk types (iron ore, coal, grains, bauxite/alumina and rock phosphate), which represented a healthy 7.2% increase compared to the year before. The booming production of steel1 was reflected in a 9.3% increase in iron ore shipments in 2005. Australia and Brazil (accounting for about 70% of world iron ore exports) recorded export growth rates of 14.5% (to 237 million tons) and 8.3% (to 222 million tons), respectively, while India recorded a 10% increase in iron ore exports to 75 million tons. Exports from South Africa, however, remained stable at 27 million tons while smaller iron ore exporters such as Canada, Sweden, Mauretania and Peru recorded single-digit increases (UNCTAD, 2006:13). On the import side, China absorbed 263 million tons of iron ore, representing a massive increase of 50 million tons compared to the year before. Japan and the EU-15 imported 135.7 million tons and 117.6 million tons of iron ore, respectively, representing marginal volume increases over the previous year. Between them, China, the EU-15 and Japan accounted for more than three quarters of world iron ore imports. Imports by the Republic of Korea were steady at about 40 million tons, while imports into the Americas, the Middle East and Africa reached a total of nearly 37 million tons.

Coal shipments in 2005 increased by 4.9% to reach an all-time high of 682 million tons. Thermal coal represented 72% of this volume, with coaking coal representing the remaining 28%. The main coal exporters in 2005 included Australia (234 million tons), Indonesia (120 million tons), China (73 million tons), South Africa (66 million tons) and Colombia (57 million tons). On the import side, the EU and Japan represented 27% and 26%, respectively, while the Republic of Korea and Taiwan each represented about 10% of world coal imports. Imports of coking coal into Brazil expanded by a remarkable 25% to 11 million tons in 2005.

World shipments of grain, the third traditional dry bulk flow, are estimated to have increased by a modest 3.4% in 2005 to reach a volume of 274 million tons. In 2004 the main loading areas included North America (46%) and the East Coast of South America (15%). Well established importers such as Japan, the Republic of Korea and EU Member States kept imports steady, while a number of other countries (for example countries in the Middle East, Central America and Africa) recorded substantial import increases.

Next, shipments of bauxite and alumina (the primary inputs for the aluminium industry) are estimated to have increased by 4.5% to 70 million tons in 2005. West African countries accounted for about half the world’s bauxite export volume, with the EU and Eastern

 

European countries being the most important destinations. Finally, shipments of rock phosphate reached about 30 million tons in 2005, with Morocco (12 million tons) being the main exporter, next to other African countries (e.g. Togo) and countries in the Middle East (e.g. Jordan). On the import side, countries in the Far East (e.g. China) imported about 10 million tons of rock phosphate in 2005.

Somewhat surprisingly, minor dry bulks (950 million tons) and other dry cargoes (2.04 billion tons) expanded by a very modest 1.5% to reach 2.99 billion tons in 2005. Since these latter cargoes are increasingly being carried in containers, this low growth rate is surprising indeed.

 

Table 4: World seaborne trade by country groups, 2005 (million tons)

 

Exports

Imports

 

Liquid

Dry

Total

Liquid

Dry

Total

Developed market-economy countries

           

North America

95.1

502.8

597.9

681.9

442.2

1,124.1

Europe

105.3

1,065.1

1,170.4

542.9

1,514.9

2,057.8

Japan

4.3

185.5

189.8

247.5

584.7

832.2

Australia/New Zealand

14.0

604.4

618.4

39.9

47.9

87.8

Other

0.0

171.6

171.6

16.2

23.5

39.7

Total DMEC

218.7

2,529.4

2,748.1

1,528.4

2,613.2

4,141.6

Countries of Central and Eastern Europe

177.2

181.0

358.2

13.7

67.4

81.1

Socialist Countries of Asia

38.6

478.4

517.0

153.0

583.9

736.9

Developing Countries

1,987.4

1,498.1

3,485.5

731.0

1,431.4

2,162.4

World total

2,421.9

4,686.9

7,108.8

2,426.1

4,695.9

7,122.0

Source: UNCTAD (2006)

An analysis of world seaborne trade by country groups also yields some interesting insights (Table 4). Firstly, developed market-economy countries (DMECs) accounted for 2.75 billion tons of seaborne exports and 4.14 billion tons of seaborne imports in 2005. This gave them a market share of 38.7% of total world exports and 58.2% of total world imports, respectively. Within this country group, Europe remains the most important exporter of crude oil and petroleum products with a total of 105.3 million tons (this, however, represents just 4.3% of the world total). North America, on the other hand, is a massive importer of crude oil and petroleum products with 681.9 million tons (28.1% of the world total), followed by Europe (22.4%) and Japan (10.2%). In the dry bulk segment, Europe remains the largest dry cargo market for exports and imports with 1,065.1 million tons (22.7% of world exports) and 1,514.9 million tons (32.3%) respectively. The United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand were also large exporters of dry shipments. This underlines their important shares in shipping the three major dry bulk commodities iron ore, coal and grain. On the import side, Japan alone represented 10.2% of seaborne imports of liquid cargo and about 12.5% of seaborne imports of dry cargo.

Secondly, developing countries (across all continents) represented about half the volume of world seaborne exports (with a whopping market share of 82% for liquid cargo, reflecting the importance of Middle East oil producers) and about 30% of world seaborne imports. These percentages have been fairly stable over the last couple of years. Table 4 indicates clearly that the trade structure of developing countries contrasts sharply with that of DMECs. The developing countries’ combined share in crude oil and petroleum products exports represented 86.5% and 67.6% respectively. For imports, these shares were 26.3% and 42.4%. In the dry cargo sector, the share of developing countries’ exports reached 32% of world exports, while their share of world imports increased marginally to 30.5%. It should also be noted that, because of differences in GDP growth, substantial regional variations exist among groups of developing countries. It is, however, beyond the scope of the present Report to go into this matter in detail.

Finally, socialist countries of Asia accounted for about 7% of total seaborne exports and 10% of total seaborne imports, while corresponding figures for countries of Central and Eastern Europe are 5% and 1%, respectively (UNCTAD, 2006:4). Preliminary figures for 2006 indicate that annual growth rates will probably be slightly lower than those of 2005, while the distribution of world tonnage by continent is expected to fluctuate only marginally.

More detailed statistics on the seaborne trade of liquid bulk cargo and dry bulk cargo are provided in Chapters 5 and 6, respectively, of this Market Report.

 

Table 5: Demand for shipping services for selected years (billion ton-miles)

Year

Tanker cargo

Five main dry bulks

Other dry cargoes

Total

 

Bn t-miles

% change

bn t-miles

% change

bn t-miles

% change

bn t-miles

% change

2000

1,0265

 

6,638

 

6,790

 

23,693

 

2001

1,0179

-0.8%

6,782

2.2%

6,930

2.1%

23,891

0.8%

2002

9,898

-2.8%

6,879

1.4%

7,395

6.7%

24,172

1.2%

2003

10,580

6.9%

7,454

8.4%

7,810

5.6%

25,844

6.9%

2004

11,235

6.2%

8,065

8.2%

8,335

6.7%

27,635

6.9%

2005

11,705

4.2%

8,610

6.8%

8,730

4.7%

29,045

5.1%

Source: Fearnleys, Review 2004 and Review 2005

To conclude, Table 5 provides data on total demand for shipping services in terms of ton-miles. World seaborne trade for 2005 reached 29.05 billion ton-miles, representing an increase of 5.1% compared to the year before. This increase is about 1.3 percentage points higher than the increase in transported volume (see Table 3), implying that the average transport distance increased slightly during 2005. Increased demand for haulage of crude oil and oil products resulted in ton-mileage for these commodities increasing by 4.2%, somewhat less than the 6.2% increase of the previous year. For the five main dry bulks, ton-miles increased by 6.8% in 2005, against a 7.2% increase in cargo volume, which indicates increased vessel utilization. The remaining dry cargoes, minor bulks and liner cargo, were characterized by increasing length of supply lines, as their ton-miles increased by 4.7% to 8,730 billion ton-miles while cargo increased by a very modest 1.5%. This reflects longer distances between cargo origins and destinations and the lasting effect of relocated industries in the Far East (UNCTAD, 2006: 7).

The remainder of this Market Report provides an overview of the main trends and developments for the following five markets: the container market (Chapter 2), the RoRo market (Chapter 3), the market for conventional general cargo (Chapter 4), the liquid bulk market (Chapter 5) and the dry bulk market (Chapter 6). After a general overview of each of these markets, detailed statistics on cargo handling in European seaports are presented. In doing so, we aim to provide a ‘balanced’ analysis in two respects. First of all, the statistics cover both Northern European and Southern European seaports. Secondly, we include not only the large and well-known mainports, but also mid-sized and small ports. Each chapter ends with an overview of key developments during 2005/2006.

 

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