GENEVA, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Data for global air freight markets showed that demand rose 2.7 percent year on year in June, continuing a slowdown for air cargo, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Wednesday.
The growth slowdown began earlier in 2018 and for the first half of the year stands at 4.7 percent, less than half the growth rate in 2017, with IATA saying current uncertainty around trade wars is likely to impact freight movement.
"We still expect about 4 percent growth over the course of the year. But the deterioration in world trade is a real concern," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO.
"While air cargo is somewhat insulated from the current round of rising tariff barriers, an escalation of trade tension resulting in a 'reshoring' of production and consolidation of global supply chains would change the outlook significantly for the worse."
De Juniac said trade wars never produce winners and he reminded governments that prosperity comes from boosting their trade, "not barricading economies".
IATA said that the restocking cycle, during which businesses rapidly built up inventories to meet demand, ended in early 2018.
There was a marked fall in air cargo volumes from March.
There is now a structural slowdown in global trading conditions as indicated by the fall in the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) to its lowest level since 2016.
Factory export order books have turned negative in China, Japan and the United States, said IATA.
All regions except Africa reported a year-on-year increase in freight volumes in June 2018, but the slow growth in Asia Pacific, which accounts for nearly 37 percent of the entire air cargo market, dragged the global growth rate down.