Airfreight rates on key lanes fall in June

By Damian Brett

Image: Shutterstock

Airfreight rates on key east-west trade lanes fell in June as the air cargo market enters the quieter summer period.

The latest figures from the Baltic Exchange Airfreight Index (BAI) show that airfreight rates from Hong Kong to North America dropped by 10.1% in June compared with May to $8.72 per kg.

From Hong Kong to Europe average prices were down 1.4% month on month in June to $6.26 per kg.

The declines out of Hong Kong come despite a gradual easing of Covid restrictions in the special administrative region and Shanghai.

Finally, prices from Frankfurt to North America in June declined by 3.7% on a month earlier to $4.08 per kg.

The fall comes as air cargo faces up to a weaker demand environment, with volumes declining in March, April and May as the war in Ukraine continues and inflation puts the breaks on consumer spending.

However, the declines aren’t too much of a surprise as rate performance over the summer months does tend to weaken as demand slows and passenger capacity is added for the summer holidays.

For instance, on the Hong Kong to North America trade there has been a decrease in prices between May and June in 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

On Hong Kong-Europe, BAI figures show that rates declined in 2021 and 2020. And although there were increase between May and June in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, prices tended to be only a few cents higher than a month earlier.

Meanwhile, it should also be noted that prices remain far above pre-pandemic levels and are up against last year as well.

Rates from Hong Kong to North America in June were up 10.5% year on year, from Hong Kong to Europe there was a 44.2% increase and from Frankfurt to North America prices were up 0.2%.

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