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BMI View: We anticipate steady growth across Kuwait's freight modes and main ports in 2016 as well
as throughout the medium term. The country's economy faces challenges from sustained low oil prices but
this has not discouraged the government from initiating major infrastructure projects to support business,
trade and economic diversification. Our outlook is also based on the expectation that GDP rates will
steadily improve throughout the course of the forecast period in line with oil prices, benefiting trade
volumes. Positive growth in domestic demand and private consumption has driven the increase in air
freight, with relatively inelastic demand for pharmaceuticals and premium goods also working in favour of
this mode. Road remains the dominant mode in the absence of a rail network, while oil exports and imports
of manufactured goods and raw materials boost port throughput volumes.
Key Updates And Forecasts
? UPS' express freight service expansion by eight additional destinations includes Kuwait, promoting air
? Air freight will benefit from a new terminal to be built at Kuwait International Airport as part of the
Kuwait Development Plan 2015-2020 aiming to improve transport and logistics infrastructure and
establish Kuwait as a regional trade centre.
? Shuwaikh Port will be linked to Doha expressway by the end of the Sheikh Jabel causeway project which
as announced is on schedule. Both port activities and road freight will be boosted from the connection.
? The government in this year initiated several key projects in the power, transportation and health sectors
which sustain spending and imports of materials such as ores and metals.
? We forecast road freight to increase 2.3% in 2016 to 13.4mn tonnes and air freight by 2.6% to 194,380
while growth for the 2016-2020 period will average 2.2% and 2.7% respectively.
? We expect traffic at Kuwait's largest container port, Shuwaikh, to increase by 3.9% to 902,129 twentyfoot
equivalent units (TEUs) in 2016. Tonnage throughput at Port of Shuaiba will increase 9.2% to
? Total trade real growth in 2016 is projected at 2.8% and to average 2.6% over the medium term. Imports
growth this year will be 4.0% compared to a 1.5% rise in exports.
? Main trade partners will be South Korea, India, Japan, China and the US.