Worldwide air cargo reflecting on October & 1st half November:

Asia Pacific gets further ahead, but China sees first yield/rate drop…

Worldwide air cargo contracted by 1/3 year-over-year (YoY) in April 2020. Since that very steep decline, the sector has bounced back steadily, resulting in an October-performance in kilograms of “only” 11% below October 2019, but 8% above September 2020. Airline revenues from air cargo kept rising: +48% YoY, thanks to a still very high price per/kg, which has hovered between 60% and 67% above last year (in USD) for the past 4 months, culminating in an October increase of 66% YoY and 4.3% MoM. All this happened with freighter capacity increasing by 5% MoM, whilst cargo capacity on passenger aircraft grew by 11% MoM. The load factors for the two aircraft types increased by a modest 2% respectively 1% over the month of September.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we report that – among the three largest regions – the origin Asia Pacific did best again in volume in October, falling 7% YoY, but recording the one-but-highest YoY increase of price/kg (+82.4%). The origin area Middle East & South Asia (MESA) almost doubled its prices for the month of October YoY. The MoM price increase ex-Asia Pacific was 9.4% against a worldwide average of 4%: in 2019 the MoM increase ex-Asia Pacific was 5.5%. For the first 10 months of the year, Asia Pacific was the only region keeping its YoY volume loss in single figures (-9.8%), coupled with a record YoY revenue increase of 59%, more than double the worldwide average of 29%. Most striking is the fact that the share in worldwide air cargo revenues, generated from business originating in the Asia Pacific countries, has gone up from 41% in 2019 to 50% in 2020.

The chart below shows how the world’s top-50 air cargo markets performed (MoM) (yield/rates in USD/kg). The markets between Western Europe and Mexico stand out.

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