We’ve Moved!

December 4, 2013


As of December 4, 2013, Data In Motion will be moving to PIERS website. Going forward any new posts will no longer be published to our WordPress blog so please update any bookmarks with the new URL  http://content.piers.com/blog.

We look forward to bringing you the same quality content that you have come to expect and rely on!



JOC Insights by Mario Moreno: US Dairy, Produce, and Egg Exports

November 19, 2013


U.S. exporters of dairy produce and eggs (HS code 04) must be thrilled to see foreign demand for their product more than quadruple in the last 10 years. Except for 2009, dairy produce and egg exports by dollar value have grown each year since 2003. Although dairy produce and egg exports declined in the second half of 2012, they quickly recovered in early 2013, partly because of avian flu outbreaks in Mexico and China, which spurred demand for imported eggs. For the first seven months of 2013, total dairy produce and egg exports were up 22 percent; for all of 2013, exports are expected to advance by a remarkable 38 percent year-over-year and total $5.8 billion. The trend for U.S. dairy produce and egg exports is clear: upward.

US Exports of Dairy Produce and Eggs


Mexico is by far the largest market for U.S. dairy produce and eggs, but its market share has declined this year while China’s share has increased. The avian flu, which unleashed in Mexico in 2012 and continued this year, spurred demand for imported eggs. Nevertheless, the demand from Mexico this year was not as strong as China’s. The U.S.’s No. 2 market China imported 50% more U.S. dairy produce and eggs through July, while Mexico imported 30% more. The avian flu also impacted China’s production of poultry and eggs this year, which partly explains the strong demand for U.S. eggs. China’s market share increased from 6.6% in 2011 to 8.0% in 2013, while Mexico’s market share stood merely unchanged at 26.2% over the same period.

Faltering production of dairy produce from other major suppliers and favorable exchange rates have also contributed to record export figures this year.

Share of US Dairy, Produce and Egg Exports

By volume, exports are also having a good year, up 11% year-to- date for a total of 49,235 TEUs. Between 2007 and 2012, volume exports have grown at a compound annual growth rate of 5.2%.


Year-to-date through July, Port of Los Angeles shipped 20% of all U.S. dairy produce and eggs, a total of 9,907 TEUs. The Port of Oakland followed closely with a 19% share and a total TEU count of 9,275. Th e Top 5 ports that shipped the most dairy produce and eggs year-to-date are on the West Coast.

Insights-SEPT-2013 (2)

More of Moreno’s trade and economic analysis can be obtained by subscribing to JOC Insights or by following him on Twitter @MarioMoreno_JoC.

New Whitepaper Examines the Opportunities and Challenges for Containerized Ag Exports

November 12, 2013

PIERS, the Standard in Trade Intelligence, and The Journal of Commerce are offering a new whitepaper available for free download that examines the opportunities and challenges faced by U.S. agriculture producers looking to take advantage of containerized exports.

 US Containerized Agriculture Exports

While this year’s corn and wheat harvest are expected to reach record levels, a small but growing number of exporters face the perennial problem of equipment shortages, because their crops are grown in rural areas that aren’t major destinations for import containers that can be used for exports.

The whitepaper titled U.S. Agriculture Exports: Opportunities & Challenges for Containerized Shippers was designed to give agriculture producers, food companies, and those servicing the agricultural supply chain, insight into how companies like Maersk, BNSF, Archer Daniels Midland and Home Depot are looking to help ease these shortages through “import-steering” or “match-back’ programs.

When carriers and cargo interests that control as much freight as those companies do are able to coordinate their supply chain needs, every participant is a winner. “Everyone benefits when waste is taken out of the system,” said Craig Mygatt, Maersk’s senior vice president of inland operations.

Get a better understanding of how these trends affect the global supply chain and download your FREE report today!

Download Your Free Report

U.S. Imports of Brazilian Corn Continue into Late 2013

November 5, 2013

Following one of the worst droughts in U.S. history in 2012, U.S. imports of corn from Brazil can still be seen as late as August and September of this year, while this year’s harvest is slow to fill the gap between supply and demand.

Global Corn Trade

As previously reported by Reuters, rumors of the rare imports of this U.S. staple began surfacing last July as domestic corn prices soared. By late September deals had been confirmed by several large livestock companies calling for a series of bulk shipments from Brazil in subsequent months. Despite initial estimates on how much Brazilian corn would be needed, PIERS data shows bulk shipments of corn to major chicken producers like Pilgrim’s Pride Corp as late as August 30th, and other bulk shipments destined for Panamerican Grain in Puerto Rico arriving in early October. Prior to 2012, bulk U.S. imports of corn were rare, if ever, and usually came from Canada.

In what should be a reminder that global trade is ever-changing and often unpredictable, PIERS data shows that the U.S. has imported nearly 725,000 metric tons of corn from Brazil since the beginning of the 2012 drought through September 30, 2013. And while Brazil stuck out as the primary beneficiary of the U.S. supply shortage, there was also an additional 185,000 metric tons of corn imported from Brazil’s South American neighbor Argentina.

According to Reuters, John Prestage of Prestage Farms stated that prices could be as much as 5% lower to import corn from Brazil than to transport it from the Midwest. He noted his increasing interest in possibly importing other grains beside corn in the future.

So far things are looking up for this year’s harvest. The U.S. remains the world’s largest producer of corn and favorable weather conditions have estimated the U.S. harvest will jump 30% over last year, putting them at record levels, which could give U.S. corn exports a price advantage over global competitors.

To learn more about how you can benefit from PIERS import & export data register to receive a free demo.

PIERS has Been Chosen by AmSpec to Deliver a Customized Business Intelligence Solution for Bulk Chemical and Petroleum Shipments

October 31, 2013

PIERS has been selected by AmSpec, to deliver a customized business intelligence solution that will provide immediate and actionable insight into bulk shipments of petroleum products around the world.

US Bulk Export Shipments

Recent investments made to the technology PIERS uses to process over 17,000,000 waterborne import and export bills of lading each year, has resulted in new, enhanced data visualization and drill down capabilities that allow PIERS to deliver business intelligence solutions that isolate commodities based on brand names and grades specific to each individual customers’ requirements.

“Over the past couple of years PIERS has undergone a transformation away from being simply a data provider, towards delivering customer-specific solutions that provide immediate, decision-ready intelligence,” said Wael Jarous, Senior Vice President at PIERS. “We fully understand the importance of providing valuable and reliable intelligence to the energy sector and we are pleased to be the single source that can deliver the complete picture. Only with a comprehensive assessment of the U.S. energy market, can calculated risks be taken and strategic decisions executed.”

“As we continue to grow our business by offering our industry-leading services in new markets, it’s important that our strategic planning is based on smart, data-driven decisions,” said Simon Wright, Vice President, International Development, AmSpec. “The business intelligence tools created by PIERS allows us to identify trends in the petroleum industry based on the companies and specific commodities being shipped around the world and apply that knowledge to our decision making.”

PIERS collects over 17,000,000 waterborne import and export bills of lading filed with U.S. Customs (including 4,000,000 export bills of lading) and processes them through their proprietary Six-Step Process. While other data providers have begun publishing a subset of only containerized U.S. exports, PIERS remains the only provider with complete export transactions for all waterborne shipments (including bulk shipments) going back to 1977. Their unique infrastructure, which includes onsite security cleared staff at major U.S. ports allows them to scan and process bills of lading not filed electronically.

For more information about customized solutions from PIERS visit www.piers.com.

Whitepaper from PIERS and InformEx Provides New Insight into U.S. Chemical Export Trends

October 29, 2013

PIERS has partnered with InformEx, the premier global chemical marketplace, to launch a new report that examines top markets for U.S. chemical exports based on the volume of waterborne shipments between 2007 and 2012.

Market Opportunities for U.S. Chemical Exports: An Examination of Growth Across Major Markets, looks at the top geographic markets for exports classified under the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule’s chapters 28 and 29, which include various organic and inorganic chemicals, as well as certain precious and rare-earth metals. The report provides a macro-assessment of selected commodities that have shown significant growth in the five years leading to 2012 and are traded in relatively high volume. Findings provide valuable high-level market data to chemical manufacturers, distributors, end users, and those servicing the chemical supply chain.

“The global chemical market is in a constant state of change, and companies who are involved in the chemical supply chain need to be acutely aware of the issues affecting demand for their materials,” said Nancy Largay, InformEx brand director. “By combining the InformEx platform with the unrivaled U.S. trade intelligence of PIERS, we’re providing business knowledge that can drive decision-making for the top players in the chemical industry.”

Here are some of the report’s key findings for U.S. exports during the period between 2007 and 2012:

  • Nucleic acids (HS Code 2934) to Brazil grew 405%
  • Halogenated derivatives of hydrocarbons (HS Code 2903) to China grew 246%
  • Titanium oxides (HS Code 2823) to India grew 513.9%
  • Amine-function compounds (HS Code 2921) to South Korea grew 368%
  • Cyclic hydrocarbons (HS Code 2902) to Belgium grew 114.6%
  • Carboxylic acids (HS Code 2918) to the Netherlands grew 334.6%

“For over 35 years, PIERS has been a trusted provider of valuable intelligence to the chemical industry,” said Wael Jarous, Senior Vice President of PIERS – JOC Group Inc. “Many of the biggest names in this sector are investing in our solutions based on our commitment to deliver reliable, decision-ready intelligence. We accomplish this by marrying our client’s business knowledge with our expertise in data processing and optimization; the end result is a powerful customized solution that empowers and supports strategic decision making. InformEx provides us with a great forum to develop these partnerships even further, and for that reason I’m pleased to continue our close relationship.”

Download your complimentary copy of “Market Opportunities for U.S. Chemical Exports: An Examination of Growth Across Major Markets,” for intelligence on what markets and commodities are growing fastest for U.S. chemical exports.

The JOC Top 30 U.S. Containerized Trade Partners

October 15, 2013

Mainland China accounted for 10.9 million 20-foot-equivalent units, or 36.4% of the nearly 30 million TEUs in U.S. containerized trade in 2012. Volume to and from China was up 2.6% year-over-year and 8% above pre-recession 2008. That compares to 1.5% growth year-over-year in overall U.S. laden container trade and 3.5% growth over the pre-recession year of 2008.

Following mainland China and rounding out the top five U.S. trading partners by market share were Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. All told, the Top 5 U.S. Trading Partners accounted for 52.2% of the nearly 30 million TEUs in U.S. containerized trade in 2012. That represents growth of 0.7% year-over-year and is 3.6% above 2008.

The only Top 30 U.S. trading partner posting double-digit year-over-year growth in 2012 was 22nd-ranked Costa Rica, at 10%. The 23rd-ranked United Arab Emirates gained 9.7% while eighth-ranked Vietnam increased 7.1%. By contrast, 10 of the Top 30 declined year-over-year, led by fifth-ranked Hong Kong’s 11.6 decline in U.S. containerized trade percent and followed by No. 29  Singapore, down 9.6% from 2011.

The U.A.E. led the way in comparisons vs. 2008, growing 53.8% over the four years. followed by Vietnam at 33.2% and seventh-ranked India, which surged 32.6%. In contrast, 12 of the Top 30 U.S. trading partners declined in 2012 from their 2008 volumes, led by Hong Kong, whose U.S. containerized trade fell 13.8%. No. 14 Thailand experienced an 11% decline and 19th-ranked Malaysia saw its U.S. trade slip 10.2% from 2008.

Altogether, the JOC Top 30 U.S. trading partners accounted for 86.5% — or 25.9 million TEUs — of the total U.S. containerized trade in 2012. That represented a year-over-year gain of 1.4% for the Top 30 and was up 3.9% from 2008.

JOC Top 30 US Containerized Trade Partners in 2012  JOC

U.S. Auto Parts Imports Climb More Than 5%

October 1, 2013

Containers of auto parts imported through U.S. ports reached 220,366 TEUs in the second quarter of 2013. Imports were up year-over-year for the 15th straight quarter.

Auto parts imports rose 5.1% from the 209,644 TEUs reported in the second quarter of 2012, according to PIERS data.  Despite the high volume, the rate of growth continues to slow, with increases in the single digits for the past three quarters. The previous 11 quarters had seen double digit-growth.

US Auto Parts Imports 2011-2013

Volume also rose 6.0% from first quarter 2013.

Mainland China retained the top spot in the source countries rankings in 2013 year-to-date, with its market share remaining flat year-over-year at 25.6%. Other top countries of origin for U.S. auto parts imports were Japan, at 21.6%, down 0.2 percentage point; South Korea, 15.7%, up 1.9 percentage points; and Germany, 10.8%, down 0.5 percentage point. Nine Japan-based auto parts companies (as well as two executives) have agreed to plead guilty to price-fixing with regard to auto parts sold to U.S. car makers, including U.S. subsidiaries of Japanese car manufacturers, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Sept. 26.

Sources of US Auto Parts Imports

The volume of auto parts imported from South Korea soared in the first half of 2013. Imports from South Korea jumped 21% to 67,104 TEUs from 55,308 in the same period of 2012. Meanwhile, auto part imports from Brazil dropped 20% to 7,252 TEUs from 9,041 TEUs last year. This helped India take over Brazil’s spot as the sixth top source, dropping Brazil to seventh.

To learn more about how you can benefit from PIERS import & export data register to receive a free demo.

JOC Insights by Mario Moreno: U.S. Exports of Scrap Plastics, Paper & Metals to China

September 25, 2013

U.S. exports of scrap paper, plastics, and metals to China have increased at a remarkable pace over the last 16 years. Between 1996 and 2012, the dollar value of U.S. scrap exports to China in real terms increased at a compound annual growth rate of 24%, allowing China to take 47% of the market in 2012, up from 6% in 1996. Over that same period, U.S. scrap exports to all other markets increased by just 5% a year.

US Scrap Exports to China

Given weak global economic conditions, China’s demand for raw materials declined last year resulting in lower imports of U.S. scrap. In mid February, the “Green Fence” policy was launched with the objective to drastically increase the inspections of containers carrying scrap products to screen off adulterated products and improve China’s environment. Shipping executives began to notice the policy’s impact over trade volumes soon after its implementation. But, what was the monetary impact of the policy over the U.S. – to – China scrap export trade in the months following the policy’s launch?


U.S. exports of scrap materials to China have been struggling for over a year on weak global demand. But, it appears the Green Fence policy exacerbated the export problems. Before the policy’s implementation in mid February, U.S. exports of scrap plastics to China in nominal value were expected to decline in March by 14.4% y-o-y and amount to $40.4 million, but the value of exports actually declined 31% y-o-y and totaled $32.6 million. April was no better. The expectation for April was a drop of 12% Y-o-Y but the value of exports actually tumbled 39.7%. The expectation for May was a drop of 6.8% y-o-y but the contraction was more severe, down 26.3%.

US Scrap Plastic Exports to China


The policy’s impact over U.S. scrap paper exports appears to be less severe. Before the policy’s implementation in mid February, U.S. exports of scrap paper to China in nominal value were expected to decline in March by 10.6% y-o-y and amount to $175.5 million, but the value of exports actually declined 14.3% y-o-y and totaled $168.2 million. The expectation for April was a drop of 2.9% y-o-y but the value of exports actually declined by only 1.6%. The expectation for May was a drop of 5.9% y-o-y but the value of exports actually declined by 8.6%.

US Scrap Paper Exports to China


Before the policy’s implementation in mid February, U.S. exports of scrap metals to China in nominal value were expected to decline in March by 6.7% y-o-y and amount to $635.7 million, but the value of exports actually tumbled 22.9% y-o-y and totaled $525.3 million. The expectation for April was an increase of 5.4% y-o-y but the value of exports actually tumbled by 22.5%. The expectation for May was an increase of 19.2% y-o-y but the value of exports actually declined by 5.9%.

US Scrap Metal Exports to China

More of Moreno’s trade and economic analysis can be obtained by subscribing to JOC Insights or by following him on Twitter @MarioMoreno_JoC.

%d bloggers like this: