China inbound tonnages slump as Year of the Dragon starts

Average worldwide rates of $2.39 per kilo in week 6 are 14% below their levels this time last year

China inbound tonnages slump as Year of the Dragon starts
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China’s air import tonnages dropped sharply in the final few days leading up to Lunar New Year (LNY) on February 10, along with intra-Asia Pacific traffic, contributing to a 12 percent fall in overall global tonnages, week on week, according to the latest figures from WorldACD Market Data.

Weekly analysis
Analysis of week 6 (February 6-11) indicates that China’s inbound air cargo tonnages slumped by 15 percent, week on week (WoW), in the seven days to February 11 while the country’s outbound tonnages held up better with a decline of just two percent as the LNY holiday week approached. "That follows a surge in tonnages and rates ex-China in the previous two weeks as shippers rushed to get goods shipped before the LNY holiday period. Both inbound and outbound tonnages are expected to fall further this week."

Average global rates held firm and rose slightly in week 6 as they did in the equivalent week last year (week 3) ahead of LNY, based on the more than 400,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD’s data.

"Initial analysis suggests that the patterns this year are broadly similar to last year, although global tonnages so far are well above last year’s levels. The relative timings of LNY are significantly different with LNY falling on January 22 last year, and a clearer picture will emerge by the end of this month."

Total combined tonnages for weeks 5 and 6 this year were down by three percent globally compared with the preceding two weeks (2Wo2W) with average rates up three percent and capacity stable. Average rates were up, on a 2Wo2W basis, from all the main regions except North America (down two percent).

Year-on-year perspective
Year-on-year (YoY) comparisons show a 10 percent increase in worldwide tonnages for weeks 5 and 6 combined compared with last year, driven by a 29 percent rise in chargeable weight ex-Asia Pacific and a 17 percent increase ex-Middle East & South Asia.

Average worldwide rates of $2.39 per kilo in week 6 are 14 percent below their levels this time last year, one of the narrowest YoY gaps seen in the last 12 months. On a regional basis, average prices, respectively, from Africa, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, and Middle East & South Asia origins are all within single-digit percentages of their levels this time last year. Prices ex-Europe (-32 percent) and ex-North America (-22 percent) are well down on last year’s levels.

Worldwide air cargo capacity remains significantly up on last year’s levels (16 percent), boosted by a 40 percent rise ex-Asia Pacific.

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