BMI View: Argentina's freight sector will witness a turnaround in 2016 following negative growth in 2015 on the back of currency constraints and a dim econom ic picture. The likelihood of currency devaluation in 2016 and the installation of a business friendly president will make exports more competitive and increase the country's attractiveness as an investment destination.
Economic growth will accelerate in 2016 as fixed capital formation returns to growth on the back of investor optimism towards a new government. This will come even as the government enacts a devaluation of the peso. In addition, improving employment conditions will boost consumer purchasing power and lead to an uptick in household spending despite the inflationary effects of devaluation after a new government takes office in order to boost the competitiveness of Argentine exports. We forecast Argentine economic growth to accelerate to 2.5% in 2016, from our forecast of 0.7% in 2015.
Argentina will experience a turnaround in imports and exports in 2016 due to a boost in export competitiveness on the back of currency devaluation. This will coincide with a relaxation of import controls. In addition, domestic manufacturing firms increase imports of capital goods to support production. In 2015, manufacturers had limited access to imports of capital goods and intermediate products due to the overvaluation of the Argentine peso and lack of foreign exchange reserves, which led the Banco Central de la Republica Argentina to restrict imports. These import restrictions have also led to limits on consumers' ability to purchase foreign goods, notably automobiles.
The turnaround in consumer confidence will boost demand for road freight services in the coming quarters. Moreover, construction activity is beginning to tick upward and with a currency devaluation expected in the near term, exports will become more competitive. We forecast road freight will increase by 1.8% in 2016 to reach 264mn tonnes compared to 260mn tonnes in 2015.
Growth in Argentina's rail freight sector will continue to be supported by investment in expanding the sector. However, a combination of industrial unrest, economic difficulties in recent quarters and extensive bureaucracy has slowed the pace of development. As a result, we are calling for tepid growth in Argentina's rail freight sector, with volumes set to increase by 2.2% in 2016 to 23mn tonnes.
Air freight will continue to occupy a small portion of the freight mix given its unsuitability as a freight mode for Argentina's heavy industry weighted export basket. Nevertheless, we expect air freight volumes will increase in 2016 and continue on a positive trajectory in the medium term in line with a positive turn in consumer demand. We forecast air freight volumes to increase by 1.6% to 123,400 tonnes.
Overall we believe that road freight will continue to be the dominant mode in Argentina. However, the time considerations and high costs mean that over the longer term, as the rail networks are expanded and improved, there will be incremental erosion in truck haulage's market share, as lower costs and greater rapidity of delivery offered by the rail freight sector will attract additional supply chain interest. Meanwhile, subdued consumer spending outlook and persistent strike action will continue to weigh on the airfreight sector, which will retain its negligible share of the freight market.
Key BMI Forecasts:
Air freight volume is set to grow by 1.6% to 123,400 tonnes in 2016.
Rail freight hauled in 2016 will rise by 2.2% to 23.1mn tonnes.
Road freight volumes will increase by 1.8% to 264.7mn tonnes in 2016.
Recent D evelopments:
A 24-hour strike staged by transport workers in the Argentine capital city of Buenos Aires on June 9 affected bus, train, plane and underground transit services in the city. The transport unions were joined by a number of smaller unions, which disrupted waste collection, freight transport and port activity.
Belgrano Cargas & Logistica has received the first USD9mn tranche of the total USD1.3bn funding for the upgrade of the Belgrano network. Following its completion, this development is expected to offer freight transport through the region at around 85% less than its road equivalent.
The president has signed a decree to renationalise the rail network, reviving the previous state owned rail company, Ferrocarriles Argentinos (FA).
Chile-based LATAM Airlines cancelled a large number of domestic flights in Argentina and some international flights owing to a general strike in March.
Argentina's central government and the Chaco province signed contracts worth a total of ARS1.08bn (USD120mn) to build railway lines. The contracts include laying 150km of Chinese-supplied track from Avia Terai to the Barranqueras River port.
Chaco plans to launch two additional railway concession tenders for the Taco Pozo-Pirpintos and Las Brenas-Tostado lines.
Aerolineas Argentinas is now providing a service running between Miami and Cordoba, running twice a week from July 4th. A new Mendoza-Miami service was also launched.
The Argentina Freight Transport Report has been researched at source, and features latest-available data covering commercial transport and logistics by road, rail, air and water; industry forecasts, company rankings covering leading national and multinational operators; and analysis of latest industry trends, opportunities, projects and regulatory changes.
BMI Research's Argentina Freight Transport Report provides industry professionals and strategists, sector analysts, investors, trade associations and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the Argentinian freight transport and logistics industry.
- Benchmark BMI's independent freight transport industry forecasts on Argentina to test other views - a key input for successful budgetary and planning in the strategic freight transport market.
- Target business opportunities and risks in the Argentinian freight transport sector through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments in Argentina.
- Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our Company Profiles (inc. SWOTs, KPIs, and latest activity).
BMI Industry View
Summary of BMI’s key industry forecasts, views and trend analysis covering freight transport and logistics, regulatory changes, major investments and projects and significant national and multinational company developments.
Industry SWOT Analysis
Analysis of the major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within the freight transport sector and within the broader political, economic and business environment.
BMI Industry Forecasts
Historic data series (2008-2012) and forecasts to end-2019 for all key industry and economic indicators (see list below), supported by explicit assumptions plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecast including:
- Transport Sector: Total freight carried by road, rail, inland waterways, maritime, air and pipeline (mn tonnes-km/mn tonnes).
- Trade: Exports and imports (USDmn) by category of goods (manufactured goods, food, chemicals etc.); top five import and export trade partners (USDmn); imports/exports to each global region (USDmn)
- Port Data: Throughput (‘000 tonnes) for all major ports in the state.
- Oil Products Prices: Price forecasts for gasoline and aviation fuel (USD/bbl) at all major global energy trading hubs.
- Economic Indicators: Nominal GDP (USDbn); real GDP growth (%); GDP per capita (USD); industrial production (%); unemployment (%)
Details of the freight infrastructure in each state by segment (road, rail, air, water and pipelines). Full analysis of the competitive landscape within each segment.
Industry Trends and Developments
Analysis of the latest projects across the freight transport sector (road, rail, air, sea and logistics) including a market overview which provides an outline of the key elements driving development.
The Freight Transport market reports contain a chapter detailing the political outlook of a given region, examining the domestic politics, long-term outlook and foreign policy, and assessing the impact this could have on freight and transport businesses.
Examines the short- to medium-term business strategies of key industry players. Strategy is examined within the context of BMI’s industry forecasts, our macroeconomic views and our understanding of the wider competitive landscape to generate company SWOT analyses.
The latest financial and operating statistics and key company developments are also incorporated within the company profiles, enabling a full evaluation of recent company performance and future growth prospects.
The Freight Transport reports draw on an extensive network of primary sources, such as multilateral organisations, government departments, industry associations, chambers and company reports
*Company profiles are not available for every country. Those reports instead contain information on the current activities of prominent companies operating in the market.