Posts Tagged ‘U.S. imports’

U.S. Containerized Imports of Furniture Up in 2Q

September 11, 2013

U.S. containerized imports of furniture continued to grow in the second quarter of 2013, with volume up 1% year-over-year to 561,689 20-foot-equivalent units. This increase, the seventh consecutive quarterly year-over-year rise, was at a slower rate compared to the past four quarters, but despite this, import volume reached its highest level since the second quarter of 2007.

PIERS- Furniture Imports Q22013

Second quarter 2013 containerized furniture imports jumped 5.7% from the first quarter. Mainland China, not including Hong Kong, held 71.7% of the U.S. furniture import market in the second quarter of 2013. Other top countries of origin for U.S. furniture imports in the second quarter were Vietnam, with a 9.4 % share; Malaysia, 3.2%; and Indonesia, 2.9%. Furniture imports from Indonesia in the second quarter jumped 19 % in volume year-over-year.

Italy remained the sixth-largest supplier of U.S. furniture imports in the second quarter, with containerized volume up 10 % year-over-year.

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


U.S. Containerized Imports Drop 7% in March

May 22, 2013

U.S. containerized imports experienced a 7% year-over-year drop in March 2013, according to recent figures from PIERS. Total U.S. containerized imports fell to 1.26 million TEUs, the first month with a volume below 1.3 million TEUs since February 2012.

US Containerized Imports - March 2013

“Box imports fell markedly in March mainly because the regular 2-week closing of Chinese factories on Lunar New Year festivities was late compared to 2012, inducing tough year-over-year comparisons. This is evidenced by a sharp volume contraction of 18% YoY from China,” said, PIERS/JOC economist Mario Moreno.

Imports fell in March versus February 2013 by 11.2%, which is abnormal for this time of year. February 2013 had seen a year-over-year jump of 20%.

The largest declines among the top 25 imported goods were in computers, down 24%; lamps and parts, down 20%; and toys, down 19%, all compared to March 2012. Leading the gains were fruits, jumping 20% versus March 2012; non-alcoholic beverages and bananas, both up 11%; and still wines, up 10%.

Among the top 25 source countries, shipments from Hong Kong decreased the most in March, by 26.5% year-over-year to 20,876 TEUs. Mainland China followed with an 18% year-over-year drop to 473,530 TEUs, while Taiwan’s volume fell 17% to 34,550. Of the largest increases, U.S. imports from Costa Rica jumped 23% to 17,805 TEUs. Shipments from Guatemala totaled 26,591 TEUs in the month, up 21.5%. Imports from the Netherlands saw growth of 21.3% in March to 24,102 TEUs.

For more information about how PIERS Trade Intelligence can help you track U.S. imports & exports for any commodity or region visit

Top U.S. Imports and Exports from Asia

May 2, 2013

‘Furniture’ was the top containerized import commodity from Asia in January 2013, up 1% over January 2012. The top 10 commodities shown below accounted for 41% of the total box import trade from Asia.


“Paper & paperboard” was the top containerized export commodity to Asia in December 2012. A sharp drop was seen in pet & animal feeds. The top 10 commodities shown below accounted for 57% of the total export trade to Asia in the month.


U.S. Toy Imports Wind Down in Fourth Quarter 2012

April 23, 2013

Containers of toys imported through U.S. ports showed a slight decline in the fourth quarter of 2012, the first year-over-year decline since the first quarter of 2012. Imports edged down 1.5 percent to 160,203 20-foot-equivalent units from 162,710 TEUs in the fourth quarter of 2011.


Imports showed mixed shifts throughout 2012. Toy imports inched up 0.6 percent in the third quarter, 1.7 percent in the second quarter, and imports fell almost 5 percent in the first quarter, according to data from PIERS, a JOC sister company. The fourth quarters of 2012 and 2011 both showed year-over-year declines. The drop in 2011 was by 11.3 percent over the fourth quarter of 2010.

The toy import volume for full-year 2012 was 524,644 TEUs, down 1 percent or 4,768 TEUs from 529,412 TEUs in 2011.

Mainland China, not including Hong Kong, continued to dominate the market with an 81.7 percent share of imports, although its share was down 1.2 percentage points year-over-year. Other top countries of origin for U.S. toy imports in 2012 were Hong Kong, with 6.6 percent, down 0.3 percentage points; Vietnam, 1.5 percent, up 0.1 percentage points; and Taiwan, 1.4 percent, up 0.1 percentage points.

Toy imports from Germany and Israel saw a jump in 2012. Imports from Germany rose 43 percent from 3,690 TEUs in 2011 to 5,291 TEUs in 2012. Imports from Israel in 2012 totaled 3,390 TEUs, 35 percent more than the 2,507 TEUs imported in 2011.

Economists Cautiously Optimistic Over U.S. Import & Export Growth Forecast

April 16, 2013

Are we seeing enough economic recovery this spring to support growth in volumes of U.S. containerized imports and exports? Economists are seeing some hope, especially in the U.S., but the spring is still looking pretty chilly on a global scale. In the U.S., housing starts and employment are up, but much of southern Europe is mired in recession and growth in emerging Asian markets is slowing.

On the whole, a global recovery is under way, but there are plenty of risks that could cause growth to sputter, especially if it encounters another “black swan” event in the form of an unpredictable catastrophe such as the tsunami and nuclear disaster that struck Japan in 2011.

Any recovery in Europe could be upset by eruption of a fiscal crisis in southern Europe. “Optimism has started to take hold in recent months, but the economic hangover is still very much with us,” said Nick Kounis, head of macroeconomic research for ABN Amro Bank. Yet trade volumes are likely to get stronger this year and even stronger by the second half of 2014 when the global recovery takes hold. Global trade volume, which increased 3% in 2012, is likely to grow 3.3% this year and 3.9% in 2014, Kounis said.

US Containerized Exports

Source: PIERS/JOC Container Shipping Outlook, March 2013

But persistent global economic clouds are causing some economists to cut their forecast of U.S. trade growth. In March PIERS/The Journal of Commerce, economist Mario Moreno reduced his forecast for the growth of U.S. containerized exports this year to 2%, to a total of 12.1 million TEUs, compared with his previous forecast of 4.1%, “in light of the fourth quarter’s weak performance, the general deceleration of volume growth during 2012, and less optimistic economic forecasts across the globe.”

Moreno also cut his forecast for 2014 export growth to 3.4% from the 4.4% rate he estimated in December. “While fiscal uncertainty in the U.S. has been largely contained, in Europe, questions remain on how solid the commitment to austerity is, especially in Italy, where anti-austerity candidates made progress in the last election,” he said. “Such an outcome makes already nervous investors less willing to commit capital to projects and could delay the economic recovery across the European continent.”

Us Containerized Imports

Source: PIERS/JOC Container Shipping Outlook, March 2013

Moreno expects import volumes to grow 2.6% in 2013 to a total of 17.6 million TEUs, compared with just 1.5% in 2012. But he remains cautious in view of the 3.9% dip in total U.S. import volumes in the final quarter of 2012, which capped a disappointing 2012 for U.S. inbound container trade. Annual containerized import traffic expanded just 1.5% during the year, decelerating from the 2.7% pace set in 2011 and a far cry from the 14.5% increase posted in 2010.

He said the 2012 performance was significantly below the two-year moving average of 10.4%, which indicates further sluggishness going forward. Although the fourth quarter 2012 performance can be partially attributed to Hurricane Sandy and labor disputes at U.S. ports, he said the slowdown was primarily due to worsening U.S. economic conditions, particularly fiscal uncertainty and its impact on private investment, which was keeping a tight lid on containerized import growth. “I do not see these conditions appreciably improving during 2013 and am therefore compelled to lower our projection to 2.6% growth,” Moreno said.

For more information about PIERS trade intelligence visit or to learn more about The Journal of Commerce’s Container Shipping Outlook visit

Chinese Lunar New Year: Year of the Snake

January 29, 2013

Doing business in other countries means working within the cultural context. Chinese New Year (CNY), also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, is fast approaching! It is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays.

Manufacturing plants across China typically shut down and tens of millions of workers make long trips back to their home towns from the industrial cities where their jobs are. It has a huge impact on global supply chains originating in China and it’s not always back to business as usual, before and after the 15 day celebration.  The celebrations are also expected to affect port operations in terms of loading, barging schedule and possibly product availability.

Container shipping lines servicing the Asia-Europe trade lanes are moving to cut back on capacity, maybe even skipping a series of sailings during these two weeks, in preparation of volume lulls following the start of the holiday on February 10th


February is traditionally the slowest month of the year for imports; this is the time of the year when the U.S. can narrow the trade deficit with China, fewer goods and services are imported. In 2009 and 2012, the CNY fell in January affording 2 plus weeks of celebration with many Asian factories closed during the duration.

According to PIERS data, the volume waterborne imports from China during of the first quarter of every year is significantly lower than any other quarter of the year. In 2009, 12.9% less TEUs were imported compared to the previous quarter; 26.3% less in 2010; 8.1% in 2010; 8.4% less in 2011; and 8.7% less in 2012. Want to learn more about the details behind these container imports? PIERS solutions provide the support needed to accurately track vital trade intelligence around the world. Contact us today to have a PIERS solutions expert show you more.

PIERS January Food of the Month: U.S. Tangerine Imports

January 22, 2013

Originally indigenous to Southeast-Asia, tangerines have become one of the most popular winter fruits!

The word “tangerine” is derived from Tangier, a major city in Morocco. Located in the Northern part of the country, Tangier was well suited to trade with European countries; large assortments of items (commodities) were exported through Tangier. In 1710, the word “tangerine” entered the English language to describe things from that city and the word was adopted for the fruit specifically in the 1800s.


According to PIERS data, Peru and China dominate the U.S. tangerine market with 14,789,313 and 10,967,356 MTONS respectively, which represents a combined share of U.S. tangerine imports of 49.2%. The 3rd largest importer by volume is Chile, which imported 3,821,957 MTONs, while South Africa and Morocco round out the top 5 with 2,824,925 and 2,492,581 MTONS respectively.

Looking to keep track of a specific commodity? PIERS products give you a global picture of a commodity and the companies trading it. Analyze commodity growth trends, leading producers, source suppliers and more! Click here to register for a free demo.

Traffic Jam

January 15, 2013

Coal, crude oil, petroleum, steel, cement, corn, wheat, soybean…all commodities that travel on along the Mighty Mississippi connecting the Gulf of Mexico with the Midwest.


The worst drought in 70 plus years is crippling the nation’s busiest waterway with river levels at record lows. One boat has already gone aground as water levels fall and giant barges have been bumping against the bottom and possibly bringing all traffic to a halt south of St. Louis. Prolonged stoppage of shipping on the Mississippi could have an economic impact reaching into the billions of dollars with the movement of goods reliant on river for transit. Shippers trying to move cargo to inland ports, ocean carriers and tankers waiting for cargo to reach the Gulf and the reverse, unloading cargo which has nowhere to go… all face the potential of being effected by dangerously low water levels in Mississippi .

The same drought that devastated crops throughout the Midwest over the summer was just as unkind to water; the Mighty Mississippi is dangerously narrow and shallow, exposing submerged rock formations. Dredging and rock removal near Thebes will continue through this month, with hopes that at the end of this week the channel will be at least two feet deeper to provide 10 feet of water to accommodate vessels. Work will continue to widen the river at several bends in its course.

If there’s a disruption to your supply chain, do you have the intelligence you need to act quickly? PIERS can help! Register for a free demo and a solutions expert will show you how PIERS trade intelligence can assist your business.

Shrimp Tales

January 8, 2013

Q1 - Q3_2012_U.S._Shrimp_Imports

Over 80% of shrimp consumed in the United  States is imported, a drastic change from just 20 years ago!

Gulf shrimpers seek relief from foreign, subsidized shrimp imports by seeking the implementation of duties to offset the unfair trade advantage. Petitions were filed with the federal government by the Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries December 28th, 2012, which seek duties imposed to shrimp from:

  • China
  • Ecuador
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

The petitions document numerous programs benefiting shrimp producers in these seven countries; Thai government purchasing domestic shrimp and processing it at artificially low prices, the Indian government helping to reduce shrimper processors’ ocean freight costs with added subsidies specifically for exports to U.S. markets and the Malaysian government investing millions of dollars to build shrimp farms and processing facilities to target various export markets.

Based on PIERS data, approximately 204,360 MTONs of shrimp were imported from these seven countries during the first three quarters of 2012; with the top share among Thailand (32.48%), Ecuador (18.81%) and Indonesia (14.13%). The coalition maintains that the countries covered by the petitions exported $4.3 billion worth of shrimp to the U.S. in 2011, accounting for 85% of imports.

PIERS offers instant access to details on U.S. import shipments. Our international trade data combined with market specific intelligence can help provide a global picture of a commodity and the companies trading. Register online for a demo.

Counter Your Competitor’s Actions with PIERS TI-Comprehensive

December 18, 2012

There is so much competition with the world being one, connected marketplace today. Has your company tapped into the essence of strategic business analysis; understanding your competitor’s trends, capabilities and weaknesses?

PIERS TI Comprehensive provides the right information at your fingertips! Our raw data feed is rapidly updated and standardized daily, allowing immediate access into recent commodity movements of U.S. imports and exports. PIERS enhances the value by updating the data with standardized, value-add fields and comprehensive search fields along with access to the following:


  • Access to U.S. imports and the ONLY company with complete exports
  • Comprehensive search capabilities on all available fields
  • Historical data going back to 2007
  • Up to 5 years simultaneous searches on Imports
  • Up to 3 year simultaneous searches on Exports
  • View results in one of our report templates
  • Download up to 10,000 records
  • View House/Master BOL relationships

The real value in trade intelligence is to provide managers with the organizational tool to learn what the competitor will do, not what the competitor has already done. Businesses, organizations and governments around the world trust PIERS to deliver global trade intelligence, which means you can trust your business decisions are based upon a solid foundation.

PIERS TI Comprehensive customers use our data to:

  • Generate sales leads
  • Obtain competitive intelligence
  • Identify buyers & suppliers
  • Conduct market research
  • Monitor contractual compliance

Want to learn more about how PIERS TI can enhance your company’s competitive intelligence? Request a demo from one of our solutions experts or sign up before 12/21/12 to receive 25% OFF the price of a new subscription.

%d bloggers like this: