Boeing lifts 20-year industry demand forecast to $6.3 trillion

Dominating projection is a five percent increase in the forecast for single-aisle aircraft, such as the Boeing 737, above. (Courtesy Boeing)
Updated 17 July 2018
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Boeing lifts 20-year industry demand forecast to $6.3 trillion

  • The world’s largest planemaker said at the Farnborough Airshow it expected 42,700 industry deliveries over the next two decades
  • Boeing shaved its forecast for the regional jet fleet to 2,320 deliveries

FARNBOROUGH, England: Boeing Co. raised its rolling 20-year industry forecast for passenger and cargo aircraft by three percent on Tuesday but shaved its projections for wide-body as well as regional jets, as its battle with Airbus intensifies in smaller planes.
The world’s largest planemaker said at the Farnborough Airshow it expected 42,700 industry deliveries over the next two decades, up from its estimate of 41,030 a year ago.
That would be worth $6.3 trillion at list prices versus last-year’s $6.1 trillion prediction.
Dominating that tally is a five percent increase in the forecast for single-aisle aircraft, such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 families, underpinned by a prediction for average global traffic growth of 4.7 percent, unchanged from last year.
The Chicago-based planemaker now sees 31,360 deliveries in the medium-haul, single-aisle category, which is the cash cow of the world’s two largest planemakers and popular with low-cost airlines, Boeing said at the air show south west of London.
Air travel has been on a sharp uptrend fueled by emerging economies, and China looks set to overtake the United States as the world’s biggest domestic air travel market in 10-15 years, Boeing’s vice president of commercial marketing Randy Tinseth told a press briefing.
The growth of China’s domestic market, and its insatiable demand for aircraft made by both Boeing and Europe’s Airbus, underscores Boeing’s risks should the escalating trade dispute between Washington and Beijing become a full-blown trade war.
Tinseth refused to be drawn into commenting on US trade policy, saying: “We are going to focus on what we can control.”
Boeing, which calls itself America’s biggest exporter, delivered more than one out of every four jetliners it made last year to customers in China, one of the world’s fast-growing aircraft markets.
Two weeks ago, Airbus raised its own rolling forecast for industry deliveries by more than seven percent and revamped the way it predicts demand, introducing new plane categories from ‘Small’ to ‘Extra-Large’ and blurring the traditional boundaries between aircraft types.
Boeing’s Tinseth said Airbus sought to show it was winning a sizable share of the aircraft market.
“Let me make one thing clear,” Tinseth said. “By every measure, in every way, our wide-bodies are winning. Period.”
Even so, Boeing lowered its wide-body delivery forecast by 140 aircraft to 8,070, saying higher deliveries over the last year and longer-range single-aisle planes ate into the rolling forecast.
Boeing saw a small increase in demand in the cargo market, a barometer of trade and business confidence, forecasting 980 new freighters from a projected 920 a year ago, fueled by the growth of e-commerce, particularly in China.
The planemaker unveiled a volley of freight orders in the first two days of the Farnborough show.
Boeing’s overall forecast tally is a bigger number partly because it counts aircraft with 90 seats or more, whereas Airbus starts at 100 seats.
The smaller-end of the aircraft market has seen its biggest shake-up in decades after Airbus closed a deal to buy Bombardier’s 110-130-seat CSeries jet, mirrored last week by Boeing’s tentative deal to acquire the commercial unit of Brazil’s Embraer SA.
Boeing shaved its forecast for the regional jet fleet to 2,320 deliveries. Analysts expect Boeing and Airbus to use their scale to heap pressure on suppliers to lower costs, which could trigger consolidation.
Tinseth said Boeing’s market assessment could change if regional jets become “a lot more efficient or a lot lower cost to operate, and maybe there is a possibility pricing might change.”
“Anytime that happens, demand will go where the lowest potential cost is,” he added.


World’s biggest sovereign fund worried about trade wars

Updated 21 August 2018
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World’s biggest sovereign fund worried about trade wars

  • The fund posted a positive return of 1.8 percent, or 167 billion kroner ($19.8 billion), in the second quarter
  • Markets are worried about a trade dispute between the United States and China

OSLO: The managers of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, expressed concern Tuesday about global trade tensions, which could heavily impact its value.
The fund posted a positive return of 1.8 percent, or 167 billion kroner ($19.8 billion), in the second quarter, helping erase a loss of 171 billion kroner in January-March that was attributed to a volatile stock market.
The Government Pension Fund Global, which saw its total value swell to 8.33 trillion kroner by the end of June, manages the country’s oil revenues in order to finance Norway’s generous welfare state when its oil and gas wells run dry.
But Norway’s central bank, which runs the fund, said geopolitical and trade tensions presented a risk.
“It’s fair to say that increased trade barriers or even trade wars will not be beneficial for the fund as a long-term global investor,” Trond Grande, the deputy chief of Norges Bank Investment Management, told reporters.
Markets are worried about a trade dispute between the United States and China. Accusing Beijing of unfair competition, the US administration is considering slapping a new round of levies worth $200 billion on Chinese goods.
Talks between the two slated for Wednesday and Thursday aimed at resolving the dispute have however eased concerns somewhat.
Following US-Turkey tensions that sent the Turkish lira and the Istanbul stock market tumbling, the Norwegian fund said its assets there were worth less than the 23 billion kroner they were at the beginning of the year.
“We’ve seen the market rise for a long time, that there are different political and geopolitical events in the world that can affect the market, and we have to be prepared for the fact that (the value of) the fund can go down a lot,” Grande concluded.
The fund’s strong second quarter was attributed primarily to its share portfolio, which accounts for 66.8 percent of its investments and which rose by 2.7 percent.
Real estate holdings, which account for 2.6 percent of its holdings, rose by 1.9 percent, while bond investments, which represent 30.6 percent, remained flat.
Faced with falling oil revenues in recent years, the Norwegian government has been tapping the fund to finance public spending since 2015. But with oil prices recovering, the fund registered its first inflow in three years in June.