IATA: Demand continues to grow despite threat of trade wars

IATA director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac

Airfreight has continued to grow in May at a reasonable rate with freight tonne kilometres increasing by 4.2 per cent, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports.

Demand was down from 5.2 per cent recorded in April (revised from 4.1 per cent), and the association says growth is likely to continue at a lower pace due to the re-stocking cycle that requires quick delivery is over, the new export orders component of the global manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index is at a 21-month low, and global trade appears to be softening as trade tensions increase.

After a weak start to 2018, demand has resumed at a modest trend upwards but the rapid growth seen in 2017 is over, and IATA has revised growth for 2018 down to four per cent from its previous prediction of 4.5 per cent.

IATA director general and chief executive officer, Alexandre de Juniac says: “We expect air cargo demand to grow by a modest 4.0% in 2018. That’s an uptick from a very weak start to the year. But headwinds are strengthening with growing friction among governments on trade.

“We still expect demand to grow, but those expectations are dampened with each new tariff introduced. Experience tells us that trade wars, in the long run, only produce losers.”

Capacity measured in available freight tonne kilometres grew by 6.2 per cent in May, the fourth consecutive month that capacity growth outstripped demand, pushing load factors down 0.9 percentage points to 44.6 per cent.