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AMSTERDAM: May 01, 2018. Industry analyst WorldACD reports worldwide air cargo yield dropped to US$1.89 in March, one percent lower than the previous month but still 16.3 percent higher year-on-year. However it notes the US$ was much weaker than 12 months ago against major currencies:

“With March-figures in, at last we can write the real story of the year-over-year (YoY) air cargo performance in early 2018.

“We had to wait until the full effects of Chinese New Year (CNY) were known, since CNY-effects resonate in the air cargo community worldwide. As mentioned last month, this year the effects were visible well into March (see chart).

“In March 2018, we saw worldwide air cargo volumes increase by a mere 0.9 percent YoY. Combined with the very strong market in January and the more modest growth in February, this brings up a volume growth in Q1 of 4.8 percent YoY.

“In air cargo exports, the Southern hemisphere did best and worst: Central & South America grew by 12 percent, whilst Africa lost 3.3 percent. [For import] volumes, the European market grew by 7.0 percent while the Middle East & South Asia had to content itself with a very modest growth of 0.6 percent.

WorldACDApril2018“Of the top-30 origins in the world, the best performers in Q1 - chalking up double-digit growth figures - were Turkey (+20.6 percent), Japan (+17.8 percent) YoY and Ecuador (+12.2 percent).

“Among the world's largest ‘country pairs’, the markets from Japan to China East (+24 percent) YoY, from Germany to India (+19.2 percent) and from Chile to USA South Atlantic (+17.6 percent) stood out for the right reasons.

“Hong Kong to Germany (-9.9 percent) and Japan to Taiwan (-6.8 percent) topped a list of large country pairs losing some of their lustre.

“But let's turn to the increase in yield including charges (price/kg), which makes for an important part of the real story of this year's first months.

“We read all the time how yields are ‘soaring’. So far, the actual picture is more nuanced than that. We need only point to the fact that the YoY yield increase in Q1 worldwide was 18.6 percent when measured in US$, but only 2.7 percent when expressing it in €. [And] a similar pattern is seen when comparing yields in USD with yields in almost any other major currency.

“In other words, the large yield increase in US$ can only be understood against the background of the loss the US$ suffered against many other currencies when comparing Q1 2018 with Q1 2017. The ‘greenback’ lost 13 percent against the €, 11.00 percent against the British Pound, 8.0 percent against the Chinese Yuan and 5.0 percent against the Japanese Yen - to name some of the currencies of importance to many large air cargo companies.

“Take the case of European vs. American carriers on the North Atlantic, one of the largest intercontinental markets in the world. With a weak US$ and a strong €, one would expect incoming business in Europe and outgoing business from North America to grow fastest.

“That is precisely the case, even though for both airline groupings the larger part of their total North Atlantic business (56 percent to be precise) still goes in the Westerly direction.

“From Europe to North America, the YoY increase was 33.8 percent in US$, but a much smaller 15.9 percent in €. In the other direction, yields increased by 8.0 percent in US$, but decreased by 6.5 percent in €.

“The CFO of an US airline, thinking and accounting in US$, will be clearly pleased, but his European counterpart, thinking and accounting in €, much less so. Add to this that jet fuel prices have almost doubled over the past two years, and we understand that the recent large yield increase as measured in US$, may take on a different meaning for different parties."

WorldACD Air Cargo Market Data March 2018



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