IATA: Growth slows in June as world trade deteriorates

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Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

The growth in global airfreight demand continues to slow with freight tonne kilometres increasing by 2.7 per cent in June, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says.

The association says this continues the slowdown that began earlier in 2018, with growth for the first half of the year standing at 4.7 per cent, less than half the rate of 2017.

IATA says the three main reasons for the slowdown were the restocking cycle ending in March 2018, a structural slowdown in global trading conditions as indicated by the fall in the Purchasing Managers Index, and the temporary grounding of Nippon Cargo Airlines’ fleet in the second half of June.

IATA director general and chief executive officer, Alexandre de Juniac says the air cargo industry is expected to growth four per cent in 2018 “but the deterioration in world trade is a real concern”.

He adds: “While air cargo is somewhat insulated from the current round of rising tariff barriers, an escalation of trade tension resulting in a ‘reshoring’ of production and consolidation of global supply chains would change the outlook significantly for the worse. Trade wars never produce winners. Governments must remember that prosperity comes from boosting their trade, not barricading economies.”

Capacity measured in available freight tonne kilometres rose by 4.1 per cent in June, meaning it has outstripped demand growth in every month since March.