PIERS Data Shows U.S. Containerized Exports Advance 6.7% in Q3

According to PIERS/Journal of Commerce, Economist, Mario Moreno U.S. containerized exports advanced for the 8th consecutive quarter as demand for wastepaper and metal scrap continued, and the containerization of some grains strengthened. U.S. containerized exports rose 6.7% in Q3 2011 over Q3 2010, to a total of 2,933,396 TEUs.

U.S. Containerized Exports Q3 2011

The increase in exports was led by a 9% Y-o-Y surge in paper & paperboard (including wastepaper). Strong gains were also seen in metal scrap, ferrous, pig iron, up 54%. Exports also got a boost from grains and soybeans as the containerization of these products gain popularity. Grain importers in China are increasingly opting to receive the cargo in containers as it is easier to find financing when their shipments are containerized. Containerized exports of grains and flour products climbed 37%, while soybeans jumped 98%.

Furthermore, it seems U.S. poultry exporters have been able to find new markets in response to countervailing duties imposed by previous top market, mainland China. Solid gains in poultry shipments to Hong Kong, Korea, and Angola were seen. Overall poultry exports rose 32% Y-o-Y.

On the downside, shipments of fabrics (including raw cotton) dropped 43%, while pet & animal feeds and synthetic resins contracted by 11% and 13%, respectively.

On a regional level, exports to Northeast Asia rose by the most, up by 12% Y-o-Y, followed by Southeast Asia which showed a 7% gain, contributing to a 10.4% surge in total westbound Trans-pacific trade. On the downside, exports to the Caribbean and Mediterranean dropped 10% each.

On a country level, exports to top market China gained the most volume led mainly by strong gains in paper & paperboard, logs & lumber, wood pulp, and foam waste & scrap. Exports to China rose 13% Y-o-Y (up from a 6% expansion in Q2). Shipments to Taiwan climbed 24% while exports to Korea surged 12%. Exports to Australia surprised to the upside by rising 19%, driven by miscellaneous machineries, lawn & garden equipment, vegetables and auto tires. On the downside, exports to Italy dropped 23%.

Overall containerized exports fell by just 1.4% in Q3 2011 over Q2 2011. Monthly, exports surged 8.8% in September 2011 over September 2010 but slid 0.5% over August 2011. Year to date, through September, overall U.S. containerized exports were up 8.3%.

PIERS is the only source for transaction-level U.S. export data. PIERS staff reporters cover every major U.S. port, collecting and processing over 300,000 export Bills of Lading each month to give our customers a complete view of U.S. trade. To learn more about PIERS export data, visit www.piers.com/USExports.

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