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Air cargo growth slows in June, yet IATA sees 4pc increase in 2018

THE growth rate of global air cargo volumes continued to weaken in June, with freight tonne kilometres up 2

Air cargo growth slows in June, yet IATA sees 4pc increase in 2018
14 August 2018 - 19:06

THE growth rate of global air cargo volumes continued to weaken in June, with freight tonne kilometres up 2.7 per cent year on year and 4.7 per cent in the first half of the year. However, that's less than half the 10.4 per cent growth recorded in the first six months of 2017.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), freight capacity increased 4.1 per cent in June, exceeding demand growth for the fourth month in a row, reported IHS Media.



IATA attributed the slower growth to the end of the inventory restocking in early part of the year and the decline in global trading conditions, as seen by the drop in the Purchasing Managers' Index to its lowest level since 2016, with factory export orderbooks entering negative territory in China, Japan and the US.



Further, the temporary grounding of the Nippon Cargo Airlines' entire fleet of 11 Boeing 747 freighters in June exacerbated the slowdown by skimming up to 0.5 percentage points off the monthly growth.



'We still expect about four per cent growth over the course of the year. But the deterioration in world trade is a real concern,' said IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac.



'While air cargo is somewhat insulated from the current round of rising tariff barriers, an escalation of trade tension resulting in a 'reshoring' of production and consolidation of global supply chains would change the outlook significantly for the worse,' Mr de Juniac said.



Asia Pacific airlines registered 1.5 per cent air cargo growth in June and first-half volumes rose 4.6 per cent year on year. The region is expected to achieve an annual increase of three to four per cent, says IATA.



North American carriers posted a 3.8 per cent increase in June, with international traffic up 5.9 per cent thanks to the strong dollar and robust growth in the US economy driving inbound shipments.



Growth in North America in the first half was 5.3 per cent, second only to the 'exceptional' increase of 10.1 per cent in Latin America.



European carriers recorded a 3.3 per cent increase in June on the back of a slowdown in export orders. Traffic was up 4.1 per cent in the first half.



Middle East carriers' freight volume rose 3.8 per cent in June. In the first half of the year traffic rose 4.3 per cent and growth is forecast to remain modest in the coming months.



Africa airlines' traffic declined 8.5 per cent in June as international volumes decreased 8.6 per cent, the fastest drop in nine years.

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