We expect growth across all freight modes in 2016, with rail driven by the completion of large projects and outperforming. Road freight will lose market share over rail, however it will remain the dominant mode. Throughput volumes at Saudi Arabia’s main ports will also increase, supported by substantial fuel exports and manufactured goods imports. Low oil prices pose a serious challenge to the country’s economy, justifying our forecasts for restrained growth in freight and shipping for 2016; although this will steadily improve over the medium term. The new oil price environment has decreased GDP growth rates and presents the risk of lowering domestic consumption and consequently imports. On the other hand however, anticipated import growth for Saudi Arabia’s main trade partners will maintain trade volumes.
Key Updates and Forecasts
Saudi Arabia faces increased competition following the re-emergence of Iran in the oil market, with international sanctions on the oil producing country recently lifted. China is a likely destination of Iranian oil, expected to replace shipments from producers such as Saudi Arabia.
The tendering process for the railway project to connect Abu Dhabi’s Western Region with Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the Saudi Arabian and Omani borders was suspended in January 2016, a consequence of spending cuts due to low oil prices.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has initiated the privatization of Saudi Arabian airports with the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh first in line. King Abdul-Aziz International Airport in Jeddah and King Fahd International Airport in Dammam are planned to be privatized in 2017 in an attempt to support state finances.
Table of Contents
1. Trade Overview (Saudi Arabia 2013-2020)
2. Industry Forecast
3. Trade Overview (Saudi Arabia 2013-2020)
4. Main Import Partners
5. Main Export Partners
6. Road Freight Forecast
7. Rail Freight Forecast
8. Air Freight Forecast
9. Shipping Forecast
10. Market Overview