WorldACD: January figures reflect impact of Chinese New Year

By Rachelle Harry

WorldACD has confirmed expectations “that the year on year figures for January would be negative”.

In its latest report, the analyst notes that chargeable air cargo weight dipped by 5.8% in January year on year and it suggests that the timing of Chinese New Year, which took place at the end of January this year compared with early February in 2019, contributed to this decline.

Although general cargo volumes also declined by 9%, special cargo grew by 0.5%.

Alluding to the impact of the coronavirus, WorldACD said: “At the time of writing this newsletter, it had become very clear that the first quarter of 2020 (and quite possibly the months beyond) will turn out to be an extraordinary period for the world and for world trade, and thus for air cargo.

“The coronavirus leaves traces in almost all aspects of life, not just in China but increasingly elsewhere as well. Supply chains have been disrupted around the world, to varying degrees, marking how much we have come to rely on Chinese production.”

It added: “Clearly, we expect the short term figures for air cargo (beginning with February) to be shocking.”

The analyst also reported that as a result of the Chinese New Year break (which ended up being extended for weeks in an attempt to contain the coronavirus), traffic to the Asia Pacific region declined by 13.6% year on year in January and exports dropped by 8%.

Meanwhile, WorldACD reported that Latin America experienced 2.7% growth in air cargo exports, and Africa and the MESA (Middle East and South Asia) regions saw imports by air increase year on year by 3.1% and 0.6% respectively.

Looking to the future and bracing for figures in the months to come, WorldACD added: “The first reliable figures on how individual markets around the world will be affected, will hopefully be out by mid-March when detailed February-data on air cargo volumes and yields will have been reported”.

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