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WorldACD: June was the first month without serious growth for air cargo

Air cargo’s worldwide volume growth stagnated in June as year-on-year (YOY) growth came in at a “mere” 0.4 per cent, according to the latest report by WorldACD Market Data.

The market analyst said it was the slowest industry growth rate for two years, but despite the minimal uplift, the first half of 2018 brought an overall YOY growth of 3.7 per cent, although year-to-date growth has slowed for a number of months.

WorldACD said: “Results for the early summer month of June may not be the best leading indicator for the rest of the year. Nonetheless, it is noteworthy that business from Asia Pacific to the other regions did not improve vis-a-vis June 2017: -0.1 per cent YOY. Air cargo from the origins Africa, Europe and the Middle East also contracted YOY (MESA by almost 4 per cent).

“The Americas, however, again bucked the worldwide trend: the USA enjoys high economic growth, whilst South America has been in ‘catching up’ mode for a number of months already. The worldwide yield continued to be much higher than a year ago.”

The market analyst said exports by air from China to the USA dipped considerably in June. Although this market had been sub-par for the full first half year of 2018 already (-2.9 per cent YOY), the June figure of -5.9 per cent YOY could be “indicative of a worsening climate between the two economic powerhouses”.

WorldACD said China to Europe was also negative in June (-2.9 per cent YOY), but USA to Europe showed growth of 3.7 per cent YOY, well above the worldwide average, albeit much lower than in the earlier months of 2018 when it topped eight per cent and with a YOY growth of three per cent, USA exports by air to China grew more than the overall air cargo ex-USA.

The June report finished: “Who is to tell what results will be reported for July onwards, when the first tariff increases may start to bite. To us, the world of air cargo looks fairly uncertain at the moment: for once, to predict the future it may be just as helpful to read the tea leaves (as well as tweets?) or to gaze into a crystal ball.”