Air Cargo Newsdesk

Weak world trade to hinder air cargo growth in 2019, says IATA

Weak world trade to hinder air cargo growth in 2019, says IATA

WORLD trade cargo tonnage will rise by only 3.7 per cent to 65.9 million tonnes in 2019, the slowest pace since 2016, reveals the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

This projected annual figure reflects the weak world trade environment impacted by increasing protectionism, asserts the airline body.

“Cargo yields are expected to grow by 2.0 per cent. This is well below the exceptional 10 per cent yield growth in 2018,” notes an IATA statement.

Brian Pearce, chief economist at IATA

“It does, however, continue the recent strengthening of the cargo business, since cost increases are lower. Overall, cargo revenues are expected to reach US$116.1 billion (up from $109.8 billion in 2018),” a corporate statement concludes.

Brian Pearce (right), chief economist at IATA, blames protectionism for the forecast dip in airfreight.

“Trade and protectionism are a major concern for the [aviation] industry. We, as an industry depend on open borders,” Pearce warns.

“We had a very good year of growth in 2017 for air cargo. This year, it has slowed down quite sharply.This is the part of the airline business that we think is being damaged by protectionism.”

Of major concern is the “USA impositions of trade tariffs on China and threats on others”, notes Pearce.

“Aviation depends on open borders and itself facilitates the free movement of people and goods. Border frictions are bad news for aviation and the economic development it brings.”

Meanwhile, IATA’s forecast reveals average airfreight rates in 2019 are expected to be US$1.86/kg (2018 dollars), which is a 62 per cent fall on 1998 levels.

Read more stories about world trade here

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