Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Impact of trade wars on As-Pac countries shows notable differences, says WorldACD

Asia-Pacific continues to post cargo declines but a few countries in the region, notably Vietnam, appear to be performing well amid the trade wars, according to the latest air cargo traffic report of WorldACD.

Worldwide air cargo performance in August declined 7.1 % year-on-year in volume terms, accompanied by a yield decrease in US dollar terms of 9.4% and worldwide revenue drop of almost 16%.

The various regions of the world contributed to the decline in roughly the same measure, except for Africa, whose volume went up 1.6% year-on-year in August, and the Middle East and South Asia, which both contracted 10.4%.

By category general cargo posted a 10.3% loss year-on-year in August, while special cargo rose a slight 0.7%. High-tech & other vulnerable goods increased by 4.4% year-on-year, while pharma & temperature controlled goods rose by 5.2%. Perishables grew 1.3% year-on-year: fish & seafood did best (+5.4%) and meat did worst (-8.0%).

In the first eight months of the year, worldwide air cargo volumes were down by almost 5% compared to the same months in 2018. Yields were down by 7.1% for general cargo, and by 3.8% for special cargo. In overall revenue, the origins Europe and Asia-Pacific have been hardest hit in the year so far, with decreases of 15.3% and 11.6% in US dollar terms, respectively.

“Asia Pacific is the main regional victim when looking at destinations, particularly in the markets within the area and on the flow USA to China & Hong Kong,” said WorldACD. “But the origin China is doing well: to destinations outside the Asia Pacific region, exports even grew by 0.2%!”

China’s neighbors are reportedly “profiting” from the trade war between China and the US, said WorldACD.

Comparing June-August 2019 with the same period in 2018, China lost 18% of its revenues (in USD) in air cargo exports to the US, while the other origins in Asia-Pacific combined lost 16%. Among the major Asia-Pacific countries, Japan and Hong Kong and South Korea each lost around 25%, but Vietnam and Taiwan gained 4% and 15%, respectively. From the US to Asia-Pacific,  exports to China declined by 18.5%, Hong Kong by 20%, South Korea by 24%, Japan by 7%, and Taiwan by 10.5%. But US exports to Vietnam went up 9.5%.

“In other words, whatever the reasons, Vietnam is clearly improving its position in air cargo flows to and from the USA, and to a somewhat lesser extent, so is Taiwan,” said the report. But the countries in Northeast Asia seem not to be benefiting from the trade war.

Among the airlines, based on US revenues made from air cargo flows between China and the US, North American carriers suffered more than Asian carriers (-26% vs -17%), but carriers originating outside the US or Asia lost only 12%, said the report.

Photo By Glenn Beltz

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