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Air freight volumes finally stabilised in August, according to the latest IATA data. It’s not that impressive, with a rise of just 0.2% after two months of declines. Total volumes for the year are down 2%.

The news is backed by Drewry’s East-West Air Freight Price Index, which recovered 3.7 points in August following a 2-point recovery in July. According to Drewry, rates lifted on Asia-origin trades into both North American and Europe, although Transatlantic struggled with “notable” declines on both legs. While pricing continues to be low in comparison with last year, it has strengthened in September, in advance of China’s Golden Week as well as high-tech product launches, and Drewry at last expects it to continue into October.

But IATA chief Tony Tyler warned: “Some of the key reasons for the earlier weakness – for example, downgraded growth expectations in emerging Asia, and the rebalancing of the Chinese economy toward domestic consumption – are still there. Even though world trade volumes have slightly picked up, the industry will have to work hard to match the strong finish to 2014.”

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