THE Asia-Pacific air cargo market posted a sixth straight month of contraction in April, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), reports London's S&P Global Platts.
This, said the AAPA, follows disruptions to global supply chains amid heightened trade tension, particularly between the US and China.
International air passenger markets continued to see moderate growth, supported by ongoing expansion in the global services sectors, said the AAPA.
"Air cargo markets experienced a 6.3 per cent decline in demand during the same period," said AAPA director general Andrew Herdman.
"The first four months of the year saw a 4.9 per cent increase in the number of passengers carried by the region's airlines to an aggregate total of 125 million," Mr Herdman said.
"Air cargo volumes have recorded declines as unresolved disputes and the imposition of trade tariffs led to a marked slowdown in international trade flows," he said.
Air cargo demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres, fell by 9.1 per cent year on year as trade activity was affected by further declines in new export orders, while supply rose by 0.4 per cent over the same period.
In particular, the fall in air shipment volumes coincided with production declines in the region's technology equipment sectors. The freight load factor - a measure of capacity utilisation - fell by six percentage points.
"The region's airlines are proactively exploring new opportunities for growth, whilst carefully managing capacity expansion and implementing measures to contain costs in a bid to navigate successfully through the ongoing challenges," Mr Herdman said.