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June 2018 IATA Air Freight Market Analysis
Air cargo volumes continue their modest uptrend, amid rising risks
Potential distortion in FTK growth rate in June…
Year-on-year growth in industry-wide FTKs slowed to 2.7% in June, down from 3.8% in May and almost half the five-year average FTK growth rate (5.1%). The latest growth outcome may have been distorted in part by the grounding of the entire Nippon Cargo fleet for much of the month. It is difficult to know for certain how much of the affected demand was carried by other operators, but we estimate that the disruption could conceivably have reduced industry-wide annual FTK growth by up to 0.5 percentage points in June.
…but this does not change the broader picture
In any case, given that Nippon Cargo resumed services in early-July, any impact is likely to be reversed in the July data. Moreover, even if the ‘true’ pace of FTK growth in June was just over 3%, the key point is that air freight volumes have continued to trend upwards at a more moderate pace than was the norm during the first half of last year.
African int’l FTKs continue their downward trend
Having surged by 25% in 2017 as a whole, international FTKs flown by African airlines fell in July at the fastest annual pace in nearly nine years (-8.6%). FTKs have now trended downwards in SA terms at an annualized pace of almost 20% over the past six months, which reflects weaker demand conditions on all the main markets to/from the continent, particularly to/from Europe and the Middle East.
Highlights of the June 2018 Air Freight Market Analysis
- The slowdown in annual freight tonne kilometre (FTK) growth in June may partly reflect the impact of disruption at Nippon Cargo. In any case, the key point is that FTKs are continuing to trend upwards at a relatively modest pace.
- Following robust annual growth in the first half of 2018 (4.7%), we continue to expect FTKs to increase by around 4% in the year as a whole. However, rising trade tensions pose downside risks to the wider outlook.
- Once again, annual growth in freight capacity exceeded that of demand in June, leading to a fall in the load factor. Download the full document here.