Home » Aviation, Breaking News » November air cargo peak is less pronounced this year

Unlike in the past few years, November was not the busiest month of the year for air cargo as world trade slackened, a possible peek into the instability that the coming year might bring, according to WorldACD.

The air cargo market data provider reported that volume in November 2018 was not only 1.4% lower year-on-year, it also had a less pronounced peak than in previous years.

Moreover, volume was lower than the month before, seeing a drop of 2% versus October 2018. Although revenues per kilogram (yields) continued their year-long climb, since July, their year-on-year growth percentage has been getting smaller every month. Nevertheless, the yield jump from October to November was larger than the month-on-month increases earlier in the year.

All in all, airline revenues (measured in U.S. dollars) rose by 2% year-on-year and by 1.8% month-on-month. Over the past four months, airline revenues kept growing, in spite of the see-saw patterns witnessed in volumes.

The worldwide air cargo yield moved up to US$2.08 in November 2018, which is 3.5% higher than in November 2017, and 4% higher than in October 2018. Measured in euros, the worldwide yield increased by 7% year-over-year.

In terms of regional markets, only the origins Africa (+4.9%) and Asia-Pacific (+0.5%) did better in November than in October. The destinations Africa (+2.8%) and Europe (+0.3%) also registered a month-on-month increase. Of the largest traffic flows, Asia-Pacific to Europe showed a sizeable increase of 7.2% month-on-month. The Middle East & South Asia, together with North America, showed a month-on-month decrease to each of the other five regions.

Meanwhile, for the world’s air cargo engines China and Hong Kong, WorldACD said China performed better than the worldwide average, with figures of -1% year-on-year and +4.1% month-on-month.

Hong Kong, on the other hand, had mixed results: -4.2% year-on-year versus +8.8% month-on-month. And U.S. dollar yields ex-Hong Kong made a jump of 13% compared to last year, an achievement crowned by reaching a November yield of $4.66 in the market from Hong Kong to the U.S.

As for traffic between China & Hong Kong and the U.S., volume figures fell in November. This comes after WorldACD earlier reported very positive year-on-year October figures for the market China-U.S. The research service had interpreted the strong October performance as a sign of U.S. businesses ‘stocking up’ before tariffs were imposed.

However, by November, performance had gone in reverse. While the month showed a small increase in this market over October (+1%), the year-on-year figures showed a drop of almost 5%. Combined with a considerable drop in the U.S. to China (-6% month-on-month and -8% year-on-year), this showed how the overall market between these two countries has fallen by almost 6% year-on-year, and by 1% month-on-month in November.

“November was the first month since the trade war started that the YoY volume change for both directions was negative. It goes for both China and the USA that their performance to the rest of the world is much better than their performance to the territory of their trade war adversary,” said WorldACD.

But in the case of Hong Kong business, which is also an indicator for China-U.S. trade, the report found that while the November figures from Hong Kong to the U.S. were much worse than those for Hong Kong to other markets, the opposite was true from the U.S. to Hong Kong market.

“The mixed picture we have seen in 2018 may well carry over into the new year, which seems to announce itself with much more uncertainty than a year ago, when the air cargo world looked quite stable,” said the report.

Photo: Adam Moreira (AEMoreira042281)

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