The DHL Hong Kong Air Trade Leading Index (DTI) has published its results for Q4 2019. Below are the key highlights of the report:
- The overall air trade outlook has dampened, with the full weight of the U.S.-China trade tensions now being felt by local exporters due to more tariff impositions. However, it is predicted that demand for e-tailing will pick up soon, as the U.S. government acts to defer tariffs on consumer goods amid the online shopping promotion season.
- 60% of local exporters now believe that the additional tariffs by the U.S. are directly affecting them, up from last quarter’s 36%.
- While Q4 is traditionally a peak season for air traders, expectations for air exports and air imports saw downturns this quarter as overall air trade dropped in all regions of the world. Aside from the ongoing trade dispute between China and the U.S., which 58% of the respondents consider as their biggest concern, the shaky global economy also explained the reason for caution.
- While markets in the Americas and Europe continued to cool this quarter, exports to Japan also experienced a dip as the hike in the country’s consumption tax came into effect in October.
- Watches, Clocks & Jewellery inched up a point compared to last quarter, despite the generally weakened demand. Food & Beverage remain the strongest sector, despite the downtrend across all air-freighted commodities.
Commissioned by DHL Express Hong Kong and compiled by the Hong Kong Productivity Council, the DHL Hong Kong Air Trade Leading Index is the first indicator of its kind in Hong Kong and aims to provide a forward-looking perspective on overall air export and import trade volumes.
The first quarterly DTI was released in Q2 2014 by analyzing the key attributes of business demand based on a survey of more than 600 Hong Kong companies that focus on in- or out-bound air trading. An index value above 50 indicates an overall positive outlook while a reading below 50 represents an overall negative outlook for the surveyed quarter. The further the reading is from 50, the more positive or negative the outlook is.