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Trade Data Service

In Japan Things Are Not as They Seem

This year Japan has witnessed an uptick in both air and containerised ocean trade. But things are not always as they seem, with much of this growth a consequence of the depreciation of the Japanese Yen. Nevertheless, some sectors and markets are showing real growth and changing dynamics in the world trading system may bring opportunities in the medium term. This includes semiconductors and automotive, and trade with Southeast Asia and North and Central America.

Downgrade of 2024 Air Cargo Growth Expectations

Despite a strong start for the air cargo business in the first quarter of this year, the underlying economic fundamentals point to more subdued growth for the remainder of the year. Compared to our last forecast prepared just under three months ago, we expect global air cargo growth for 2024 to be slightly lower - 8.9% vs 9.9%. Much of this is due to a slight downgrade of economic growth and trade projections, as well as a diminishing boost from cross border e-commerce volumes. Full year growth for 2024 will still be dependent on the recovery of manufacturing and small package volumes staying strong.

End of an Era for US Domestic Air Cargo

The e-commerce fuelled boom in US domestic air traffic appears to be over. This could have profound implications for the domestic air express business and the need for aircraft capacity in a market that is home to 43% of the world’s freighter fleet. Historically, there has been a strong correlation between growth in online shopping, overall economic growth and traffic moving through US domestic air express, e-commerce and general cargo networks. However, since late 2022 this relationship seems to have broken down – the market declined by 11% when the underlying fundamentals should have led to moderate growth in 2023 and acceleration in 2024.This article digs deeper into the data and provides an explanation as to what is happening.

Freight Connections Define Pacific Island Country Trade Networks

The topic of Chinese influence in the Pacific looms large, but in general the share of China as an origin of imports in the Pacific has mostly stayed steady over the past decade as goods continue to utilise Australia and New Zealand connections. Fiji on the other hand, has increased its role as a regional distribution hub and improvements in air cargo and shipping connectivity could see further growth. This article looks at developments of imports into Pacific Island Countries, main trading partners, the role of China, and freight connectivity with a particular focus on Fiji. Analysis includes an interactive dashboard with commodity level trade between China and Pacific Island Countries.

Increased Consumption Needed for Australian Wine to Reclaim China

With the cancellation of tariffs on Australian wine, Australian producers are hoping for a comeback in China. Until 2020, about 40% of the value of Australian wine exports went to China. At the same time Australia accounted for about 40% of the value of all Chinese wine imports. However, even before the de-facto import ban imposed on Australian wine, both imports and wine consumption were declining. For Australian producers to regain the lost market share, Chinese consumers are going to have to start drinking more wine.

Freight Connectivity in South and Southeast Asia

The level of freight connectivity in parts of South and Southeast Asia will need to improve to support the region's world leading trade growth expectations - particularly in Indonesia and Vietnam. This article looks at the air cargo and container shipping connectivity. Connectivity is a key factor when it comes to sourcing decisions and the relative competitive advantage of different countries.

Express, Air and Ocean Freight Revival Moving at Different Speeds

International air express, air freight and containerised ocean freight do not always move in sync – even though growth in all three is correlated to changes in economic activity. Part of this is due to how quickly each responds to changes in the inventory cycle or relative price differences, but also the underlying industry segments and customer profile that driven each segment. Consumer demand has performed better (or less worse) than manufacturing activity and as such containerised shipping and express have performed better than general airfreight. Air cargo traffic – which consists of a mix of express, cross border e-commerce and general air freight – has been strong, primarily because of e-commerce.

Strong Air Cargo Growth Expectations for 2024

After two bad years of declining international air cargo volumes, we should be in for a good year – possibly somewhere in the order of 10% growth based on our latest forecast. For context, that would put us somewhere close to where we were at the end of 2021. Should we believe our own numbers? If cross border e-commerce traffic remains strong, manufacturing recovers and the outlook for global growth continues to improve then it is likely that we also see a recovery in air cargo traffic. The ongoing situation in the Red Sea forcing longer routings between Asia and Europe is also likely to increase the demand for air (and rail) freight on that lane.

No Recovery in Near Term EU Industrial Outlook

Recent EU survey data does not point to an immediate recovery nor further deterioration of trade relevant economic activity. Manufacturing activity continues to be weak, but overall retail sales development has been somewhat positive. Several indicators are looking positive for Southern Europe, which could lead a recovery of economic activity. This article includes an interactive dashboard with key economic and employment sentiment indexes, confidence indicators and industry and retail data for the 27 EU Member States and Türkiye.

Semiconductor Machinery Trade Shows Fragmentation of Global Chip Production

Global semiconductor sales dropped about 8% in 2023 but are expected to recover in 2024. As integrated circuits are found in most key products, this underlines the likelihood of a recovery of world trade in 2024. However, trade flows are likely to change over the coming years as China, the US and Europe build up own capacity and support the development of new fabs in South and Southeast Asia. Machinery trade indicates an emerging shift away from Taiwan and Korea based production of integrated chip production.

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