IATA’s global air cargo market data for November 2022 shows that demand softened as economic headwinds
Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers
(CTK), fell 13.7% compared to November 2021 (-14.2% for
Capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers
(ACTK), was 1.9% below November 2021, the second
year-on-year contraction following the first last month (in
October) since April 2022. International cargo capacity decreased
0.1% compared to November 2021.
Compared to pre-COVID19 levels (November 2019),
there was a smaller contraction in overall demand (-10.1%), while
capacity was down 8.8%.
Several factors in the operating environment
should be noted:
Airline ULDs at HAN, Vietnam. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com
– Global new export orders, a leading indicator of
cargo demand, were stable in October. For major economies, new
export orders are shrinking except in Germany, the US, and South
Korea, where they grew.
– Global goods trade expanded by 3.3% in October.
Given the softening in air cargo demand, this suggests that
maritime cargo was the primary beneficiary.
– The US dollar has appreciated sharply, adding
cost pressure as many costs are denominated in US dollars – including jet fuel which is already at elevated levels.
– The Consumer Price Index for G7 countries
decreased from 7.8% in October to 7.4% in November, the largest
month-on-month decline in 2022. Inflation in producer (input)
prices reduced to 12.7% in November, its lowest level so far in
“Air cargo performance softened in November, the
traditional peak season. Resilience in the face of economic
uncertainties is demonstrated with demand being relatively stable
on a month-to-month basis. But market signals are mixed. November
presented several indicators with upside potential: oil prices
stabilized, inflation slowed and there was a slight expansion in
goods traded globally. But shrinking export orders globally and
China’s rising COVID cases are cause for careful monitoring,” said
Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
Asia-Pacific airlines saw their air cargo volumes
decrease by 18.6% in November 2022 compared to the same month in
2021. This was the worst performance of all regions and a decline
in performance compared to October (-14.7%). Airlines in the
region continue to be impacted by lower levels of trade and
manufacturing activity and disruptions in supply chains due to
China’s rising COVID cases. Available capacity in the region
decreased by 4.5% compared to 2021.
North American carriers posted a 6.6% decrease in
cargo volumes in November 2022 compared to the same month in 2021.
This was an improvement in performance compared to October
(-8.6%). Capacity increased 0.3% compared to November 2021.
European carriers saw a 16.5% decrease in cargo
volumes in November 2022 compared to the same month in 2021. This
was an improvement in performance compared to October (-18.8%),
thanks to the stronger new export orders in Germany. Airlines in
the region continue to be most affected by the war in Ukraine.
High inflation levels, most notably in Türkiye, also affected
volumes. Capacity decreased 6.6% in November 2022 compared to
Middle Eastern carriers experienced a 14.7%
year-on-year decrease in cargo volumes in November 2022. This was
a marginal improvement to the previous month (-15.0%). Cargo
volumes to/from Europe impacted the region’s performance,
registering a 16.3% year-on-year decline in November. Capacity
increased 2.1% compared to November 2021.
Latin American carriers reported a 2.8% increase
in cargo volumes in November 2022 compared to November 2021. This
was the strongest performance of all regions, and a significant
improvement in performance compared to October (-1.4%). Capacity
in November was up 2.8% compared to the same month in 2021.
African airlines saw cargo volumes decrease by
6.3% in November 2022 compared to November 2021. This was an
improvement in performance compared to the previous month (-8.3%).
Capacity was 11.4% below November 2021 levels.
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