01 August 2022

Global air cargo markets capacity for May up 8.3pc

Global air cargo markets started showing a stark improvement in May with the cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs) hitting 8.3 per cent, below May 2021 levels of -8.1 per cent for international operations. This was an improvement on the year-on-year decline of 9.1 per cent seen in April, said a report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The easing of Omicron restrictions in China helped to alleviate supply chain constraints and contributed a performance improvement in May. According to IATA, the global cargo growth returned to year-on-year traffic comparisons, instead of comparisons with the 2019 period. However, the air cargo performance was being impacted by several factors. 

The global capacity was 2.7 per cent above May 2021 (+5.7 per cent for international operations). This more than offset the 0.7 per cent year-on-year drop in April. Capacity expanded in all regions with Asia-Pacific experiencing the largest growth, said the global aviation body in its report.

Trade activity ramped-up slightly in May as lockdowns in China due to Omicron were eased. Emerging regions also contributed to growth with stronger volumes. New export orders, a leading indicator of cargo demand and world trade, decreased in all markets, except China. The war in Ukraine continues to impair cargo capacity used to serve Europe as several airlines based in Russia and Ukraine were key cargo players.

“May offered positive news for air cargo, most notably because of the easing of some Omicron restrictions in China. On a seasonally adjusted basis, we saw growth (0.3 per cent) after two months of decline,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Middle Eastern carriers experienced a 11.6 per cent year-on-year decrease in cargo volumes in May. Significant benefits from traffic being redirected to avoid flying over Russia failed to materialise. This is likely due to persisting supply chain issues in Asia. Capacity was up 7.6 per cent compared to May 2021, it stated.


Saudi ports see 16.1pc jump in cargo volumes

Saudi ports recorded a sizable surge in cargo throughput during June 2022, handling 27.1 million tonnes (mt) at a 16.1 per cent yearly growth rate compared to 23.4 mt during June 2021.

The developmental strategies launched by the Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) to enhance the operating performance and upgrade port capabilities resulted in a 55.7 per cent increase in general cargo volumes to reach 790,500 tonnes, reported Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Likewise, liquid bulk cargo soared to 15.5 mt at 31.8 per cent while dry bulk cargo decreased by 6.9 per cent to total 3.9 mt.

June statistics reflect the robust efforts deployed by Mawani to develop the maritime sector and position the Kingdom as a global logistics hub in line with the National Transport and Logistics Strategy (NTLS). As a result, container throughput gained 5.5 per cent to hit 642,000 TEUs in contrast to last year’s June volumes of 608,800 TEUs. Transshipment throughput was 4.2 per cent higher year-on-year at 244.6 thousand TEUs when compared to the previous year’s tally of 234,000 TEUs.

Saudi ports received 1126 vessels during June, a 13.6 per cent leap from 2021, and imported 74,000 vehicles, a 25.8 per cent annual rise. Similarly, 1.6 mt of food volumes were processed across the Kingdom’s trade hubs last month.

Coinciding with the Hajj season, passenger traffic improved to 79,000 by 79.28 per cent last month whereas 990,000 cattle heads were unloaded at a massive growth rate of 265.5 per cent.


Asia to lead global PE capacity additions with 45pc

Asia is expected to lead the global polyethylene capacity additions between 2021 and 2026 with a share of 45 per cent, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

 GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Polyethylene Industry Installed Capacity and Capital Expenditure (CapEx) Forecast by Region and Countries including details of All Active Plants, Planned and Announced Projects, 2021-2026’, reveals that Asia will have the largest capacity additions for the new build and expansion of the existing polyethylene projects during the forecast period.

Sudarshini Ennelli, Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData, says: “For the upcoming new build projects, Asia is expected to add a capacity of 27.0 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from 67 planned and announced projects.”

China leads the region with a capacity of 10.39 mtpa. Major capacity additions will be from Lianyungang Petrochemical Lianyungang Polyethylene Plant 3, Oriental Energy Maoming Polyethylene Plant 1, Oriental Energy Maoming Polyethylene Plant 2, and Tangshan Xu Yang Petrochemical Tangshan Polyethylene Plant 1, each contributing 0.5 mtpa.

Ennelli concludes: “India follows next with a capacity of 8.99 mtpa. The top three projects adding the highest capacity are Haldia Petrochemicals Kakinada Polyethylene Plant, Haldia Petrochemicals Balasore Polyethylene Plant, and HPCL Rajasthan Refinery Pachpadra Polyethylene Plant (Swing), contributing 1.2


Africa, Asia to account for 61pc of VDU capacity

Africa and Asia are set to drive the global refinery vacuum distillation unit (VDU) capacity additions globally contributing around 61 per cent during 2022-2026, forecasts GlobalData, a leading data, and analytics company.

The Middle East will be the third-highest contributor, accounting for 27 per cent of the global VDU capacity additions during the outlook period. Iran will account for most of the capacity additions in the region, with 516 mbd of capacity expected to be added by 2026 from three new build and an expansion projects.

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Refinery Vacuum Distillation Units (VDU) Capacity and Capital Expenditure Outlook with Details of All Operating and Planned Units, 2021-2026’, reveals that Africa is likely to witness total VDU capacity additions of 1,327 thousand barrels per day (mbd) through 2026, accounting for 31 per cent of the total global capacity additions. Out of this, 1,307 mbd will be from new build refineries and the remaining capacity will be from the expansion of existing refineries.

Teja Pappoppula, Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Nigeria will lead the new build VDU capacity additions in Africa through 2026, accounting for around 44 per cent of the total capacity additions. The planned Lagos I refinery will account for most of the capacity additions in the country. Around 312 mbd capacity is expected to be added to the refinery by 2023. The Mostorod II refinery in Egypt is the only upcoming expansion project in Africa, with 19 mbd of capacity expected to be added in 2024.”


UAE imports of Spanish fruit, vegetables top $49m

Spanish exports of fruit and vegetables to the UAE topped 40,440 tonnes in 2021, totalling more than AED181 million ($49 million), according to data from the Spanish Department of Customs and Excise..

Spain exported a total of 22,827 tonnes of fruit and 17,753 tonnes of vegetables to the UAE last year.

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