Air cargo demand declines by double digits in September

Date Added: 8 November 2022

Air cargo demand declines by double digits in September

With a strong presence in the expedited airfreight business through our subsidiary, Davies Turner Air Cargo, we note that IATA released data for September 2022 showing demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), fell 10.6 percent compared to September 2021, but continued to track at near pre-pandemic levels (-3.6 percent).

Capacity was 2.4 percent above September 2021 (+5.0 percent for international operations) but still 7.4 percent below September 2019 levels (-8.1 percent for international operations).

Following contractions across major economies, the global Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for new export orders also contracted (for a third month in a row) to its lowest level in two years. The latest global goods trade figures showed a 5.2 percent expansion in August, a positive sign for the global economy. This is expected to primarily benefit maritime cargo, with a slight boost to air cargo as well.

Oil prices remained stable in September and the jet fuel crack spread fell from a peak in June.

The Consumer Price Index stabilized in G7 countries in September, but at a decades high level of 7.7 percent. Inflation in producer (input) prices slowed to 13.7 percent in August.

“While air cargo’s activity continues to track near to 2019 levels, volumes remain below 2021’s exceptional performance as the industry faces some headwinds. At the consumer level, with travel restrictions lifting post-pandemic, people are likely to spend more on vacation travel and less on e-commerce,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general.

“And at the macro-level, increasing recession warnings are likely to have a negative impact on the global flows of goods and services, balanced slightly by a stabilization of oil prices. Against this backdrop, air cargo is bearing up well. And a strategic slow-down in capacity growth from 6.3 percent in August to 2.4 percent in September demonstrates the flexibility the industry has in adjusting to economic developments.”

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