Falling air cargo rates remain elevated despite supply-demand imbalance
HONG KONG's Cathay Pacific capacity increased by 117 per cent in the first half as belly space on long-haul passenger flights was reintroduced, while air cargo volume rose 23.8 per cent, reported New York's Journal of Commerce.
Global air cargo rates in the second quarter remained well above 2019 levels despite capacity steadily increasing to pre-pandemic levels and a sharp drop in demand across most major trade lanes.
The supply-demand imbalance saw second-quarter pricing drop 40 per cent year over year, but average air cargo rates in the period were still 34 per cent above those recorded in 2019, according to air freight analyst WorldACD.
"Average yields on all of the world's top 10 international air cargo markets were significantly higher in Q2 this year than their 2019 pre-Covid levels, although they were down vs last year's levels," the Netherlands-based analyst noted in a first-half market update.
The strength of second-quarter rates compared with pre-pandemic levels was clearly illustrated on the main export trades out of Asia. Shanghai-North Europe rates averaged US$3.34 per kilogramme for the quarter, down 53 per cent year on year but up 32 per cent from the second quarter of 2019, according to the Baltic Air Index (BAI).
Similarly, average rates on the Shanghai-North America trade of $4.70 per kg were down 47 per cent year over year but up 42 per cent from the same three-month period in 2019.