2013: Positive Outlook For Veracruz
Short Term: Strong 2013 Forecast On Back Of Positive 2012
While we remain optimistic toward Mexico's growth story over the medium-term, we foresee a slowdown in coming quarters as external demand moderates, feeding through to weaker consumer confidence and weighing on private consumption. As such, while we are modestly revising up our 2012 real GDP growth estimate, from 3.8% to 4.0% to take into account stronger-than-anticipated export growth in H112, we maintain our 2013 forecast of 3.4%, implying a noticeable deceleration.
Our outlook for the Port of Veracruz is broadly positive, forecasting growth of 4.6% in both container and tonnage throughput in 2013. If realised this would see the facility handle 818,739 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and 22.84mn tonnes in 2013.
|Strong Growth Over Medium Term|
|Port of Veracruz TEU & Tonnage ('000) Throughput|
|Source: Port Authority . e/f = BMI estimates/forecasts.|
This follows our positive growth estimates for Veracruz in 2012. On the back of January to September throughput data we estimate that growth in total tonnage came in at 3.5% and box throughput rose by 7.7%. Our container throughput estimate is predicated on the port having handled 586,821 TEUs over the first nine months of 2012, compared to 537,865 TEUs over the same period in 2011.
Medium Term: Investment Programme To Boost Volumes
Over the medium term (2013-2017), we expect the port to build on 2013's growth, with average annual tonnage throughput growth of 5.7%, to reach 28.83mn tonnes in 2017. In box terms, we expect average annual growth of 4.0% also, to reach 949,618mn TEUs in 2017.
A recently completed expansion programme offers upside risk to our forecasts. According to the port authority, a five-year, MXN2.8bn (US$217mn) investment programme took place, centred on expanding and developing the port's existing maritime infrastructure. Work began in early 2007 and was scheduled to be completed in 2012. Funding was provided by the national Ministry of Transport and Communication (SCT) in conjunction with private investors.
The expansion has increased the capacity of the port to 118mn tonnes of cargo per year. The aim was to expand the size of the existing complex by 3mn square metres, and includes the addition of 34 new berths as well as new storage facilities and transport infrastructure.
Long Term: Sustained Economic Growth To Support Throughput
Sound macroeconomic policies should help Mexico register sustained levels of economic activity. This steady level of growth, coupled with growing consumer power and export growth should boost throughput figures.