Source: Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International, March/April 2011 Issue – Excerpt: Similar positive sentiments were voiced by Aaron Chen, managing director Asia Pacific for Singapore-headquartered international forwarder BDP Project Logistics. “The accelerating growth of the middle class people in many parts of the world, for example in China, India, Indonesia and Latin America, will translate into accelerated demand for consumer products, which in turn will accelerate demand for minerals used to produce them,” he said.
“Any slowdown, planned or otherwise, in the Chinese economy will be a short-term influence compared with the longer term influence of growing middle classes around the globe — and the big mining companies will be looking at longer term market prospects when deciding new projects.”
Excerpt: Assessing prospects in South America, Arndt Droegemueller, director, business development, South America, for BDP Project Logistics, was even more bullish. “Prospects for mining in this region look amazing. I have lived in South America for 16 years and I have not seen this level of mining industry activity here before. There are projects on every corner and investment is rocketing. Over the next ten years we could easily see USD 50 billion of mining industry investment just in Peru and Chile.”
Mining industry activity associated project forwarding business is also picking up in less publicized parts of the world such as Indochina. Claus Dittmer, BDP Project Logistics’ regional director for that area, explained there is two-way business available — imported equipment for mining operations in Laos (copper, gold and coal) and Cambodia (coal) and exports of fabricated mining industry units out of Thailand, notably to Australia.
“In terms of mining industry projects in the Indochina region, Laos is by far the most interesting country as there are a lot of different commodities there. But we are not talking about anything on the scale of South America or Africa. We are only looking at a handful of mines over the next couple of years,” commented Dittmer.
Excerpt: Other sources suggested there are in fact already capacity issues on some trade routes. BDP’s Droegemueller said this is certainly the case when it comes to breakbulk and heavy lift space out of Asia, especially China and Japan, to key mining locations in South America. “The situation in relation to Brazil is a little better than it was, but for the west coast of South America capacity is still limited — and when some of the huge mining sector investment planned in those countries really starts to increase inbound equipment shipments, then in my opinion, there will definitely be a shortage of shipping capacity,” he said.
Excerpt: “Points of origination for the mining equipment we are handling have definitely changed,” confirmed BDP’s Chen. “Equipment which might once been ordered from Korea or Japan can now be ordered from China. There are also big fabrication businesses in places like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand that are closer to the mining industry end-users in Asia Pacific region countries like Australia.”
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