Recently released market study: Kuwait Shipping Report Q4 2013

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Fri Sep 27 2013

Kuwait's ports have struggled to recover the volumes they enjoyed prior to the global economic downturn, but BMI expects this recovery to be completed for the most part in 2013, save for total tonnage volumes at Shuaiba. Downside risks from industrial actions by ports and customs workers appear to have dissipated, though we caution that they may rise up again, bringing additional risk to our outlook.

What does bode well for Kuwait's container ports is our macroeconomic outlook for the country, where high oil prices in recent years have translated into increased spending by the Kuwaiti government. This will help maintain growth at the Gulf state's ports, both through spending on infrastructure projects impacting on total tonnage throughputs, and consumer spending boosting imports of containerised goods. However, delays to infrastructure projects could hamper tonnage throughput, and a plateauing in oil production has led us to forecast GDP growth of 3.0% in 2013, meaning that a slightly slower pace of growth can be expected at Kuwaiti ports this year.

Full Report Details at

Headline Industry Data

* 2013 Port of Shuaiba tonnage throughput growth forecast at 3.5% and to average 3.1% to 2017.
* 2013 Port of Shuwaikh container throughput forecast to grow 4.7% and to average 4.1% to 2017.
* 2013 total trade growth forecast to grow 2.8% and to average 2.6% to 2017.

Key Industry Trends

Emergency Services Tackle Refinery Fire: Emergency services have extinguished a fire that broke out at Kuwait's Port Abdullah refinery on August 22. The fire was caused due to an oil leak but has not affected the refinery's operations, shipping and exports; no injuries to staff were reported.

KNPC Awards Floating And Regasification Contract: In August, London-based liquefied natural gas carrier Golar secured a new contract from the Kuwait National Petroleum Company. The contract, awarded on a five-year basis, will see the company offer floating storage and regasification services.

Risks To Outlook

Downside risks to our throughput forecasts come in the form of the exposure to oil price volatility and a slowdown in global demand. Despite the broadly healthy picture of Kuwait's public finances, its high reliance on oil - which accounts for 94% of total revenues - exposes the budget, and consequently trade, to oil price volatility.

Given the small country's location in the Gulf, Kuwait is vulnerable to any significant escalation in tensions between Iran and Israel and the West, especially if any attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz was made.

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