According to Bloomberg, Chinese airlines registered an 11% year-on-year decline in cargo traffic to 1.22 million tons in January-April 2009, and a 3.7% decline in April 2009 measured on a year-on-year basis. Balancing that the country’s airlines recorded a 14% y-o-y rise in passenger numbers to 71.37 million in January-April 2009, and a 13% y-o-y rise in April 2009.
Industry observers believe the reduction in cargo traffic is mainly due to a slowdown in demand for goods as a result of the global financial downturn. Industry obververs are very good at stating the totally obvious as if it were news to the rest of the world.
One estimate is that GDP growth declined 6.8% in 2009, but will gain about 7.6% in 2010.
On the other hand, one forecast is that China’s foreign trade will dramatically reverse from 21.8% growth in 2008, with a contraction of 10.5% in 2009, before recovering with 16.9% expansion in 2010.
Forecast for freight carried across all modes in 2009-2013 now stands at increases of 6.5% a year.
All of this from Official Spin which believes that despite current conditions, prospects for the freight transport industry remain encouraging.
The freight sector will grow at a slower rate than the economy as a whole for the next five-year period but longer-term will ease back to its previous position. This, it points out, is in line with intensifying demand for transport at this stage in the Chinese economy’s development.