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

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.

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