Commodity prices weigh on falling Dubai World Central cargo volumes

A slowdown in global trade because of a slump in commodity prices and concerns over China’s economy weighed on cargo volumes at Dubai World Central (DWC) in the fourth quarter.

Cargo volumes fell nearly 10 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015 from a year earlier. The airport handled 228,770 tonnes of freight, down from 253,932 tonnes in the corresponding period of 2014.

Overall volumes for 2015 rose 7.7 per cent to 888,714 tonnes, up from 824,933 tonnes in 2014, Dubai Airports said yesterday.

Earlier this month, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) said that Middle East carriers grew their cargo volumes by an annualised 11.3 per cent in 2015, bucking a global slowdown.

“Political instability and the fall in the oil price may impact on some economies in the region but growth as a whole remains robust enough to support further expansion in 2016,” Iata said in its outlook.

Globally, air cargo grew by just 2.2 per cent last year, compared with 2014.

Meanwhile, the airport handled 179,781 passengers in the fourth quarter of 2015, 62 per cent higher than the 110,920 in the year-earlier period. This was owing to the introduction of flights operated by flydubai in October 2015.

About 463,236 passengers passed through DWC in 2015, down 45.2 per cent from the 845,046 a year earlier.

“Both cargo and passenger numbers in 2014 were inflated by additional services operated into DWC while Dubai International was reduced to a single-runway airport as a result of the runway refurbishment project,” Dubai Airports said.

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