February cargo figures point to a good start to the year

Cargo demand growth slowed in February but performance over the first two months represented a “good start of the year”.
The latest statistics from analyst WorldACD show that demand increased by 4.4% year on year in February, down on January’s 8.5%.
However, this slowdown was to be expected as the Chinese New Year (CNY), which this year fell in mid-January, effects performance as factories close down.
The analyst said that when combining performance over the first two months of the year, demand was up by 6.9%: “a good start to the year by any standard”, it said.
“Yet, we still reserve our final judgment, as past experience has taught us that the post-CNY effects may last as long as three weeks, in other words into March.”
The origins Asia Pacific and Americas grew more than average in these two months (9.3% and 8.4% year on year respectively).
Europe, Central & South America and Africa were the best destinations (9.5%, 8.5% and 8.4%)
February is also boosted by Valentine’s day and the analyst said that Colombia, Ecuador and Kenya – in this order – are the world’s flower growing powerhouses,  together exporting about three quarters of the world’s airborne flowers.
“February, the month of Valentine’s Day, brought the largest volume increase in flower exports from Ecuador (+11% YoY), followed by Kenya (+9.2%) and Colombia (+7.1%),” WorldACD said.
Worldwide yields rose by 19.9% in US dollar terms and by 3.8% in euro in the first two months. “The year on year oil price increase as well as the lower value of the US dollar, remain important elements in this comparison,” WorldACD said.
“But there is more to interpret these figures. Take the high-yielding markets from Asia Pacific on the one hand to Europe & North America on the other.
“Strong pre-CNY demand caused these large markets to grow much more in February than in January, thus boosting the average yield worldwide.
“Thus, the lower YoY volume growth in February was certainly not caused by the above mentioned large markets.
“The main reasons were Asia Pacific as a destination showed a negative growth year on year, in particular to Hong Kong, Eastern China and Taiwan, and the origin Europe, having shown a 12% year on year increase in January fell back to a paltry 0.5% year on year in February.
In February, yields were up 17.9% year on year to $1.91 per kg. On Hong Kong-US routes February prices were up 10.1% per kg on a year earlier, on Shanghai to Germany there was a 6.8% to $2.52, Amsterdam to US was up 33% to $1.94, Frankfurt to China registered a 52.3% improvement to $1.66 and Mumbai to UK was up 26.3% to $1.49.
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