WorldACD: World watches USA-China trade war

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Global air cargo volumes have started growing again while people in the industry wait and see how the trade war between the USA and China will affect traffic, WorldACD reports.

After year-on-year volumes fell in September, October showed growth of two per cent.

Asia Pacific had the strongest outgoing and incoming air cargo at 4.2 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively, followed by Europe at 0.5 per cent and 2.7 per cent, and Middle East & South Asia at 3.4 per cent and 0.1 per cent.

Other areas were mixed, with Africa and North American incoming traffic growing but outgoing cargo contracting, whilst Central and South America showed the opposite trend.

The highest region to region growth was from Central and South America to Asia Pacific, up 33 per cent, mainly driven by seafood exports.

Yields were up seven per cent to $1.99, with the largest increase coming from Asia Pacific to North America, which increased 14.3 per cent.

WorldACD says the industry will be watching the trade war between China and the USA.

It says in the year to October, China’s outbound air cargo grew by 1.9 per cent and the USA’s by 4.9 per cent, while China to USA was up three per cent and USA to China by one per cent.

WorldACD comments: “In other words, China to USA grew faster than China outbound worldwide, whilst the opposite was true for the USA to China.”

It says the last two months have been interesting, with China to USA rising 2.1 per cent in September whilst USA to China was up 0.7 per cent.

In October, China to USA was up 4.5 per cent but USA to China was down by the same amount, with WorldACD saying: “Taking the totals for the two months for both directions together, we noted a YoY growth of 1.9 per cent, well above the world average of 0.9 per cent.”

Much of the growth was from vulnerable and high-tech goods, with WorldACD saying: “This sector grew by a whopping 30.5 per cent YoY, much more than the usual seasonal upswing, one would say. More likely a case of US businesses stocking up before tariffs really start to bite.”