As the air cargo world remains on tenterhooks over the US-China trade war, July, while still in negative territory, saw an ‘improved’ -4.2 per cent growth for the month, year-on-year, according to WorldACD Market Data.
According to WorldACD July 2019 distinguished itself in a relatively positive way with one of the smaller YoY decreases since January, when “the world still looked reasonably OK”.
WorldACD notes that following the deep drop in June (-8.9 per cent YoY in kgs), July seemingly marked quite an improvement (-4.2 per cent YoY), although yield is down 7.7 per cent.
“Yet, a close look at both months shows that performances may have been more in line with each other than the individual monthly figures led us to believe.
“Compared to 2018, June had five Sundays instead of four, whilst the opposite was the case for July. The change in Whitsunday from May 2018 to June 2019 also played a role. Thus, June was negatively influenced and July positively,” the data analytics body notes, somewhat bleakly.
Special products continued to outperform general cargo with July figures YoY showing volume growth of of 3.5 per cent and -7.4 per cent respectively.
WorldACD notes that upheaval in international relations has been the order of the day this year with the worst effects of the US-instigated trade war(s) still to reach air cargo, the general sentiment in the world is obviously not doing the industry a whole lot of good, the analytics company notes.
Referencing a New York Times article, According to the article “A stark choice faces Trump in trade war with China” in last week’s International New York Times, “Trump can try to sever the deeply intertwined American commercial relationship with China, or he can prod economic growth to assuage the fears of investors around the planet. But he cannot do both at the same time”. That pretty much sums up the predicament world trade finds itself in. Necessary though it may be to create a level-playing field with China, the actions taken so far do not bode well for world-trade in the short term.
“Now that consumer goods have also been targeted for tariff increases, air cargo figures as from August may well take an even deeper dive than shown so far,” says WorldACD.
“However, as we all know that averages never tell the whole story, performances at regional, country and trade lane level may remain widely divergent. In almost all of the world’s regions of origin, some countries are much harder hit than others,” it says.
So far this year YoY revenues (in USD) showed the following pattern: Africa +1.3 per cent but South Africa -5.4 per cent, Latin America -0.9 per cent, but Brazil -18.1 per cent, Europe –14.8 per cent, but Germany –22.5 per cent, Middle East and South Asia -4.8 per cent, but Bangladesh -25.5 per cent.
WorldACD notes that jet fuel prices in July were 10 per cent lower than a year earlier.
Asia Pacific and Europe are the big losers in the year so far (in revenues measured in USD) the analytics company says, with YoY negative growth figures of 10.9 and 14.8 per cent respectively, for outgoing and 11.4 and 10.8 per cent respectively for incoming air cargo, while the US ‘only’ lost 6.0 per cent YoY outgoing (but 8.5 per cent incoming).
“On a more upbeat note, some airlines must have been pleased filling the large gap left in a number of markets by the demise of Jet Airways,” WorldACD says. By way of example, in the market from India to the Netherlands the forwarding world paid the price for the fact that a very important player fell away: Jet Airways’ competitors grew considerably in this market, whilst the average rate increased by 7.5 per cent.