Strong H1 At Cartagena Reinforces Forecast
BMI View: BMI believes that the Colombian port of Cartagena will continue to enjoy strong growth over the medium term as it develops into a regional transhipment hub. The widening of the Panama Canal's locks, now scheduled to be completed in May 2015, will give a further boost to this, and ensure the facility's growth over the long term, provided Cartagena invests in the necessary dredging work.
The Port Authority of Cartagena has announced that in the first half of the year the port's primary container terminal, the Manga terminal, handled 697,688 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). This represents an increase of 12.1% on the same period in 2011, and would appear to back up BMI's forecast that 13.0% growth in box throughput will be achieved at the port in 2012. If borne out this would see 1.91mn TEUs pass through the port, from 1.69mn TEUs in 2011.
We believe that this strong growth will be maintained over the medium term; over our forecast period, from 2013 to 2017, we project that annual throughput growth will average 11.2%. This is predicated on our macroeconomic outlook for Colombia - we expect real GDP growth to remain around the 4.6% mark over the period - and the previous performance of the port. From 2007 to 2011 the facility averaged throughput growth of 21.0%, despite a 2009 decline of 6.4% when the global economic crisis struck.
|In Need Of Dredging|
|Port of Cartagena, TEU Throughput, 2007-2017|