Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Will Japan and the 3 chaebols continue to invest in container shipping--especially when they have other investment needs?  Will any--or how many--of the 3 Japanese container lines be swept up by the pending maritime financial tsunami?

Japanese container trade outlook worsens

Port of Yokohama
A Tokyo-based research firm has downgraded its outlook for the Japanese container trade in fiscal 2015, which started on April 1, citing a significantly slower pace of growth in imports than previously anticipated.
Nittsu Research Institute and Consulting Inc. predicted that in fiscal 2015, Japan’s containerized cargo trade would rise 2 percent from a year earlier, reaching 12.3 million twenty-foot-equivalent units. NRIC had forecast a 3 percent increase in its previous report.
Japan’s containerized cargo trade is estimated to have slipped 1 percent in fiscal 2014 to 12 million TEUs, according to NRIC, a subsidiary of Nippon Express Co., Japan’s largest international freight forwarder. 
In fiscal 2015, container exports from the eight major Japanese ports will grow 3 percent year-over-year to 5.1 million TEUs, as the global economy is recovering moderately, NRIC predicted, revising slightly upward its previous forecast of a 3.1 percent increase. 
Container exports from the eight major Japanese ports are estimated to have climbed 1 percent in fiscal 2014 4.9 million TEUs, NRIC said. 
“In fiscal 2015, although a pickup in China-bound exports is unlikely, firm shipments to the United States, Europe, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and elsewhere will prop up Japan’s overall container cargo exports,” NRIC said. 
The commodities expected to see the most growth are machinery, auto parts and chemical products 
But the research firm reiterated its view that the pace of growth in overall container cargo exports in fiscal 2015 will still be mild as the volume-boosting effect of the yen’s depreciation has been dampened by increased overseas production of auto parts and other products. 
While container exports are seen gathering speed in fiscal 2015, container imports are seen bouncing back from a slump following a sales tax hike in April 2014.
Container imports are estimated to have fallen 2.5 percent in fiscal 2014 to 7.1 million TEUs, NRIC said.
Container imports at the eight major Japanese ports will increase 1.3 percent year-over-year in fiscal 2015 to 7.2 million TEUs thanks to a recovery in both consumer spending and corporate capital spending in Japan, NRIC predicted. But NRIC revised sharply downward its previous forecast of a 2.8 percent increase.