GENEVA – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Wednesday (2/5/2018) that the global air cargo market showed that demand in March was five percentage points lower than February’s results, and is the slowest growth rate in 22 months.
IATA said the sharp growth slowdown was mainly due to the end of the “restocking” cycle, in which companies quickly increased their inventories to meet unexpected high demand and warned that trade protectionist measures could have an effect later on.
The weakening of global trade is also evident, IATA said.
“It’s normal that growth is slowing down at the end of the restocking cycle.It’s definitely been happening.to the future we remain optimistic that air cargo demand will grow 4-5 percent this year, but there are clearly some challenges,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO IATA.
He noted that oil prices have risen strongly, and economic growth is uneven.
“The greatest damage could be political, and the implementation of protectionist measures would be a goal for everyone involved – especially the US and China,” de Juniac said.
All regions except Latin America reported a year-on-year decline in growth in March, with Africa in negative territory.
The Asia-Pacific operators reported a daunting growth of only about 0.7 percent in March compared with the same period last year.
Export orders in Japan and South Korea have fallen in recent months and the region remains exposed to protectionist measures, IATA said.
North American carrier cargo transport volume increased 3.9 percent compared to March 2017. The inventory to US sales ratio has increased in 2018, suggesting a boost to cargo growth from restocking has ended.
European airlines rose 1.0 percent in March compared with the same month last year. The stronger euro and weaker export orders in Germany partly explain the cause, but seasonally adjusted trends have slowed in recent months.
Translated by Aryaputra Pande– BIC