Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) reported that air cargo traffic continued its downward slide in May 2019, slipping 7.3% year-on-year to 405,000 tonnes.
Cargo imports plunged 9% compared to May 2018, as trade tensions ramp up between China and the United States. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) found that global cargo demand fell 4.7% year-over-year in April, reflecting the worst drop the industry has seen in three years. The biggest declines came from manufacturing hubs in Asia and Europe, according to Air Cargo World, and Chinese output and investment fell more in April than previously predicted. Tensions continued to escalate in May when the U.S. raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
HKG saw an overall 6.3% drop to 1.9 million tonnes since January, compared to the same period last year and exports and transshipments both decreased by 7% at the Hong Kong airport in May. Southeast Asia, Japan and mainland China saw the most significant decline in cargo throughput.
Air Cargo World reported in March that though the demand for e-commerce is fueling some emerging markets, the world is anticipating deceleration in American, Chinese and European markets. Survey results from an Agility Logistics analysis showed that participants expect trade between the U.S. and China to fall about 10% in 2019. The study also noted statistics from the International Monetary Fund that project the global forecast in 2019 will fall from 3.9 to 3.5% and cut predictions for growth in emerging markets from 5.1 to 4.5%.