Singapore Hubs Poised to Benefit From Growth in Asian Exports

Singapore Hubs Poised to Benefit From Growth in Asian Exports

Cargo at Changi Airport

Handling cargo at Changi Airport.

Singapore is set to benefit this year from its status as one of Asia’s leading transport hubs, as demand from key markets in the West boosts trade.

HSBC forecasts Singapore’s exports will expand by 5.6 percent in 2014, up from an estimated 2.9 percent growth last year.

The city-state’s economy will also be boosted by rising volumes being transshipped via its marine terminals and through Changi International Airport.

Singapore container throughput, 2008-2013Singapore container throughput, 2008-2013

“In 2014 we forecast growth in both port and airport total tonnage volumes,” said a report by Business Monitor International. “Both facilities are investing considerably, and we are confident of growth over the medium and long term.”

Container throughput at the world’s second biggest box port increased 2.9 percent last year to 32.6 million TEUs, while total cargo tonnage handled rose 3.6 percent to 557.5 million tons.

“The port of Singapore's gross tonnage will grow by 3.2 percent in 2014,” BMI said.

Changi Airport handled 1.7 million tons of freight in the first 11 months of 2013, a year-on-year increase of 0.9 percent. BMI forecasts cargo growth at the airport of 1.1 percent this year and 1.2 percent per annum over 2014-18.

Standard Chartered forecasts that Singapore’s GDP will grow by 4.4 percent this year, aided by increased trade.

The major risk to the country’s economic fortunes this year will come from international markets. “This dynamic economy depends on the export markets of the U.S., eurozone, and mainland China, and each of those three faces varying degrees of downside economic risks,” BMI said.

“Further, the port of Singapore and Changi Airport both handle huge transshipment volumes, which could be affected should the global economy slump once more.”

Contact Mike King at mikeking121@gmail.com.