Japan Shipping Report Q1 2016
BMI View: During the course of 2016, we expect the Japanese shipping industry to register steady y-o-ygains across the country's main ports, with the port of Tokyo and the port of Nagoya to be theoutperformers over the next 12 months in box and tonnage throughput terms respectively. Underpinning ourforecasts for 2016 is the fact that, on the face of it, Japan's external sector has been a major pillar ofstrength over the past 12 months. Exports have grown by roughly 10% in local currency terms, amid ageneral global trade slowdown, and the trade account has recovered back to close to balance afterrecording a whopping JPY1.3trn trade deficit at its trough in mid-2014. The weakening of the yen appearsto be bearing fruit in this sense.
Exports are set to outperform imports in y-o-y real growth in 2016, reflecting a trend seen in 2014 and 2015.
That said, Japan's annual export growth has slowed for the third consecutive month in September 2015, withexports rising by only 0.6% in the year to September, compared to the 3.4% increase expected byeconomists in a Reuters poll. Seasonally-adjusted shipments contracted 1.7% m-o-m in September.Underlining a trend that will be sobering for Japan's shippers is the fact that exports to China declined 3.5%y-o-y during the month, down for a second straight month owing to falling shipments of light oil and carparts.
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