Hong Kong cargo rise in March but Q1 still down 3.5%

Hong Kong, the world’s number one air cargo hub, experienced “mild growth” of 1.1% year on year in March to 398,000 tonnes but registered a first quarter 3.5% throughput decline over 2015 to 987,000 tonnes.  
The growth in cargo throughput in March was primarily due to a 5% growth in exports and a 3% rise in transhipments said a spokesperson for Hong Kong International Airport, which handled 4.4m tonnes in 2015.
Most of the decline is due to a weak February. Hong Kong saw a year-on-year fall in its cargo traffic in February of 14.9%, due in part to a poor export performance, down by 23%. Import volumes were down by 9%, while transhipment volumes fell by 6% year-on-year.
The 2016 earlier Chinese New Year and the 2015 spike in cargo volumes due to the US west coast port dispute, are also likely factors in the decline. These have affected a number of global airfreight hubs.
Among Hong Kong’s key trading regions in March, traffic to/from India and Australasia “increased most significantly” during the month. In the first quarter of 2016, HKIA handled 17.6m passengers, a 7.5% increase.
On a rolling 12-month basis, HKIA has handled 69.7m passengers up by 7.8%, while cargo throughput dropped by 1.4% to 4.34m tonnes.

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