East Asia-U.S. spot air freight rate at 2-yr low: Xeneta
Air freight rate from East Asia to U.S. has been trending downwards for most of 2022
The spot air freight rate from East Asia to the U.S. in early December hit a two-year low but remained 101 percent above the same period in 2019, according to the latest update from Xeneta.
"The elevated air freight rate is caused by the slow reopening of the East Asian market. This has caused more affordable passenger belly capacity to remain below pre-pandemic levels. Air cargo demand has been growing above 2019 levels, and the U.S. Census reports that by the end of October, accumulated air volumes have increased 16 percent compared to 2019 (and +3 percent in October only)."
It is worth noting, however, that the rest of the East Asian market contributed to most of this air cargo growth, which is up a considerable 39 percent from the pre-Covid level, the update added. "Outbound mainland China only registered an accumulated volume growth of 6 percent for the same period as its volume growth has fallen since July."
Air freight rate from East Asia to the U.S. has been trending downwards for most of 2022. "In the week ending on December 11, the spot air freight rate on this corridor was $5.68 per kg, down 46 percent from the peak ($10.52 per kg) in the week ending on December 26 last year. The U.S. Census reports that air cargo volume from East Asia to the U.S. has been trending downward since Q2 this year with volume in the first ten months down 9 percent year-on-year compared to the air cargo peak year of 2021."
East Asia to Europe
Spot air freight rate from East Asia to Europe stood at $5.76 per kg in the week ending December 11, a level last seen by the end of September 2021. "It declined 31 percent from its peak in the week ending January 2, 2022, and it remained double compared to the 2019 price over the same week."
"In the first three quarters of this year, air cargo volume on East Asia to the European Union shows 26 percent accumulated decline compared to last year and a 6 percent fall from the pre-pandemic level. It dropped one-quarter ahead of the inbound U.S. market and in a more drastic manner."
In early December, the average air freight rate from mainland China to Europe fell 31 percent from its peak at the beginning of the year. However, the average air freight rate decline for outbound "rest of East Asia" was a more subdued 21 percent. The decline in cargo volume (-28 percent for mainland China vs. -21 percent for the rest of East Asia) and fewer effects from the closure of Russian airspace contributed to the more pronounced fall in the air freight rate for outbound mainland China, the update added.