With overall growth in China’s air cargo exports in September, the market from China to the US however, was in decline possibly indicating the first consequences of US President Trump’s trade war with China, WorldACD Market Data says.
In its latest statistics for September, WorldACD says September volumes from China to the US were down 1.8 per cent year-on-year (YoY), while month-on-month (MoM) they declined 4.4 per cent.
Meanwhile, the worldwide air cargo yield moved upwards to USD 1.95 in September 2018, 8.5 per cent higher than in September 2017, and 5.0 cents higher than in August 2018. Measured in Euro’s, the worldwide yield increased by 11 per cent (YoY).
The data analytics company notes that given the marginal growth in the world’s air cargo reported over the past months, it should be no big surprise that one day total worldwide volume contracted compared with the previous year.
“That day has now arrived,” WorldACD says, “for the month of September, we recorded a decrease in worldwide volume of 0.9 per cent YoY, the first negative growth figure in two-and-a-half years.”
But it added that airline revenues are never-the-less still growing, thanks to a strengthening yield. At the same time, fuel cost were around 32 per cent higher than one year ago.
The company did warn against reading too much into the September decline. Compared with last September, this year’s September had one Sunday more and one Friday less. This seemingly trivial fact makes for a drop of about 1-1.5 per cent in worldwide air cargo volumes, according to WorldACD’s earlier analysis of daily patterns.
Another factor: The performances of Hong Kong (-7.7 per cent YoY) and Japan (-4.8 per cent YoY), due to the negative impact of the September typhoons.
The first three quarters of 2018, meanwhile, showed 2.8 per cent volume growth YoY, accompanied by a yield increase of 14.2 per cent in USD and of 6.6 per cent when measured in EUR.
Whilst the origin region Central & South America stood out for its 11 per cent volume increase, Europe noted the best YoY revenue performance (+21 per cent when measured in USD, + 13 per cent in Euro). Europe was also the fastest growing destination (+5.4 per cent in volume YoY).
And, all special product categories outperformed general cargo, with pharmaceuticals, express and live animals still recording double digit growth.
Do home carriers always extract a yield premium?
This month WorldACD looks at the yield differences between carrier groups in their respective home markets. Over the past 12 months, airlines based in the Middle East & South Asia (MESA), realised on average a yield premium in their home markets of 27 per cent over all other carriers active in the MESA-carriers’ home markets.
The corresponding figures for other carrier groups were much lower: Carriers from Europe realised a 10 per cent yield premium in their home markets, those from Africa 7.0 per cent and those from Asia Pacific 6.0 per cent.
Only the carriers from the Americas did not find this kind of yield premium, in fact, for them it was quite the opposite. In their home markets, their average yield trailed the average of competitors by 3.0 per cent, according to WorldACD.
Interestingly, the European airlines as a group were the only ones coming up with a yield premium not only from their home markets (+10 per cent), but also to their home markets (3.0 per cent) and in ‘third country’ markets, i.e. markets with both an origin and a destination outside their home turf (+7.0 per cent).
“All other carrier groups had to accept the fact that yields realised in origin areas outside their home markets for business to their home markets, stayed below the average yields realised by other airline groups in these markets,” it adds.