Air cargo volumes up 4.8% during the first quarter

Global air cargo volumes improved in the first quarter but growth slowed as the period progressed as the effects of Chinese New Year continued into March.
The latest figures from analyst WorldACD show that air cargo demand increased by 4.8% year on year during the first three months of the year.
This is roughly in line with growth projections for the year of between 4-5%.
However, March saw air cargo volumes increase by “a mere” 0.9% as the effects of the Chinese New Year were “visible well into March”.  
“In air cargo exports, the Southern hemisphere did best and worst: Central & South America grew by 12%, whilst Africa lost 3.3%,” the analyst said.
“In incoming volumes, the European market grew by 7%, whilst the Middle East & South Asia had to content itself with a very modest growth of 0.6%.”
It added that of the top-30 origins, Turkey, Japan and Ecuador recorded the highest growth levels.
When looking at yields, the analyst said there was continued improvement when looking in US dollar terms during the quarter as the industry registered an 18.6% improvement.
However, the analyst said that part of this improvement was down to currency factors, with only a 2% improvement when measuring in euros.
“The large yield increase in USD can only be understood against the background of the loss the USD suffered against many other currencies when comparing Q1-2018 with Q1-2017.
“The [dollar] lost 13% against the euro, 11% against the British pound, 8% against the Chinese yuan and 5% against the Japanese yen, to name some of the currencies of importance to many large air cargo companies.
“Add to this that jet fuel prices have almost doubled over the past two years, and we understand that the recent large yield increase as measured in US dollars, may take on a different meaning for different parties.”
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