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No bottom to Asian cargo market yet – HACTL & SATS


Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd (HACTL) reported further depressed cargo throughput in Apr-2009, while Singapore Changi-based SATS is also reluctant to call a bottom to the market at this stage.

HACTL’s total cargo volumes were down 22.5% last month to 174,809 tonnes, comprising:

  • Export: 89,984 tonnes, -29.1%;
  • Import: 46,789 tonnes, -19.1%;
  • Transshipment: 38,036 tonnes, -7.2%.

That trans-shipment volumes are holding up better suggests cargo volumes are diverting to Hong Kong (which offers a very strong global network) from other regional hubs. Export numbers are depressed (falling further in April), reflecting weak manufacturing in the region.

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HACTL cargo volume growth: May-08 to Apr-09

Recovery delayed further by flu

HACTL stated the swine flu outbreak “poses another challenge to the overall market confidence, which may further delay the recovery of the air cargo industry”. Hactl concluded, “this is a difficult time for the whole industry, we strongly believe that Hong Kong and Hactl both have the good foundation to face the current challenge and the air cargo industry will rebound quickly upon economic recovery”.

Singapore Airport Terminal Services this week reported a 24.7% fall in full-year profit (to 31-Mar-09) and noted “the weak global economic condition is expected to continue in the foreseeable future”.

Numerous other aviation executives, including Malaysia Airlines' Idris Jala and former Qantas CEO, Geoff Dixon, are also reluctant to call a bottom to the current cycle.

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