Posts Tagged ‘US imports’

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.

Top U.S. Imports & Exports with South America

August 1, 2013

Bananas were the top containerized import commodity from South America in April 2013, but it is down 8% over April 2012 and down 5% year to date. The top 10 commodities shown above accounted for 49% of the total box import trade from South America.

Top US Imports from South America

Paper & paperboard was the top containerized export commodity to South America in April 2013. The top 10 commodities shown above accounted for 36% of the total export trade to South America.

Top US Exports to South America in TEUs

For more information about how PIERS Trade Intelligence can help you track U.S. imports & exports for any commodity or region visit www.piers.com or for more trade and economic analysis subscribe to JOC Insights.

JOC Insights by Mario Moreno: U.S. Containerized Apparel Imports Up 3.7% through April

July 30, 2013

U.S. domestic imports of apparel, not knitted or crocheted (HS code 62), are modestly recovering from 2012’s dip. Year to date, through April, apparel imports were up 3.7%, and totaled $12.4 billion. Last year, imports totaled $36.8 billion for a dip of 0.4%, while in 2011 imports totaled $36.9 billion for an increase of 8.0%. 2012 was a mediocre year for apparel imports partly because real disposable personal income per capita experienced sluggish growth.

U.S. Apparel Imports by Dollar Value

CHINA LOSING SHARE OF IMPORTS; BANGLADESH, VIETNAM GAINING

China is the largest supplier of apparel (not knitted or crocheted) to the U.S. by dollar value. China sourced 40% of all U.S. apparel imports in 2012, down by 0.6% from 2011. Year to date, through April, China saw its share of imports declined further to 36.8%, despite an increase of 3% of exports to the U.S.

Share of U.S. Apparel Imports by Country and Annual Growth Rate

Imports from other low-cost producers such as Bangladesh and Vietnam are growing faster this year, partly as a result of the fast-pace rising production costs in China. Vietnam’s share has grown steadily in recent years, boosted by rapid export growth. Year to date, Vietnamese exports of apparel to the U.S. jumped 17%, and Vietnam’s share of imports increased to 8.4%. Second-ranked Bangladesh also saw its share of imports increased in recent years and it’s currently holding 10.8% of the total U.S. apparel imports trade year to date. Ultra low wages, which have remained flat for years, spurred an $18 billion garment industry. According to some estimates, average monthly pay in 2009 for workers in Dhaka was $47 compared to $235 in Shenzhen China.

Bangladesh’s exports of apparel to the U.S. rose 8% year to date, a good improvement over the 1% dip seen last year. Nevertheless, exports growth will likely be challenged for the rest of the year in the aftermath of the April 25th collapse of Rana Plaza, an eight-story building in Savar, Bangladesh, killing over 1,000 garment workers. Some apparel retailers have signed a safety pact agreement with the intention of raising payment to suppliers so that factory owners undertake major safety upgrades. Furthermore, the Bangladeshi government has agreed to International Labour Organization proposals that include worker protection rights and liberty to form unions. How will new safety measures and regulations impact container apparel imports from Bangladesh going forward?

WILL APPAREL IMPORTS FROM BANGLADESH BE ADVERSELY IMPACTED BY THE RANA PLAZA DISASTER?

U.S. container imports of apparel from Bangladesh were up 7.6% year to date through May, and totaled 34,544 TEUs. By extrapolating the data we can determine the expectation of apparel import volumes from Bangladesh over the next 6 months as the graph shows. This is important because we can estimate the impact of the Rana Plaza disaster and new safety measures and regulations over future container imports of apparel from Bangladesh. For June, apparel imports from this country are expected to grow by 7.4% year over year.

 US Apparel Imports from Bangladesh

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

Top U.S. Imports & Exports with Europe

May 14, 2013

‘Auto parts’ was the top containerized import commodity from Europe in February 2013, up 14% over February 2012. The top 10 commodities shown above accounted for 36% of the total box import trade from Europe.

Top U.S. Containerized Imports from Europe

‘Paper & paperboard’ was the top containerized export commodity to Europe in January 2012. A sharp increase was seen PVC resins shipments, up 179% Y-o-Y. The top 10 commodities shown above accounted for 42% of the total export trade to Europe.

Top US Exports to Europe

For more information about how PIERS Trade Intelligence can help you track U.S. imports & exports for any commodity or region visit www.piers.com or for more trade and economic analysis subscribe to JOC Insights.

Transloading Growing Faster Than U.S. Imports

May 7, 2013

The transloading of merchandise from marine containers to domestic containers and trailers isn’t a new phenomenon in supply chain logistics, but for a variety of reasons, its use by retailers and direct importers is increasing faster than imports in general, especially in Southern California.

While transload volumes rose 6.6% in 2012, total containerized imports through Los Angeles-Long Beach increased only 2% over 2011.

Transloading volumes are affected by developments in the transportation industry, so they can accelerate or decelerate from year to year. For example, if railroads increase their IPI (inland point intermodal) rates for moving containers intact to inland destinations, retailers will normally increase their use of transloading.

Transloading Containerized Imports

Generally, the contents of three marine containers can be transloaded into two 53-foot containers, so there is an immediate savings in transportation costs.

Still, the long-term trend has been for transload traffic to increase at twice the rate of containers that move intact from Southern California, said John Doherty, CEO of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority. Transloading grew 5% a year on average from 2000 to 2012, compared with 2.5% per year growth for intact containers.

Overall, almost 46% of the containers that leave Southern California by rail were transloaded first, up from 33% 10 years ago, Doherty said.

Since the beginning of transloading, the core constituency of the sector has been large retailers and importers with multiple distribution centers across the country. These larger companies stop their imported containers from Asia on the West Coast and transload the merchandise into domestic containers destined for their distribution centers.

Small and midsize shippers that had moved all of their containers intact to one import distribution center recently have begun to open additional distribution centers. They are delaying allocation of their inventory until it reaches a West Coast port, and then they transload the cargo and ship the domestic containers to the distribution centers where they’re needed.

Jeff Lindner, Pacer’s vice president of sales cited two examples of how delayed allocation can reduce supply chain costs and increase the velocity of shipments. An importer that had shipped all of its imports through the West Coast to its import DC in, say, Columbus, Ohio, only to ship 40% of the merchandise back to its stores on the West Coast, can stop the containers in Southern California, strip out the local cargo and ship the remainder to the eastern half of the country.

A second example involves an importer that designates merchandise for Dallas before the shipment leaves Asia, only to discover the product is selling better in Chicago. By delaying allocation until the container arrives in Los Angeles-Long Beach, the shipment is sent directly to Chicago. “They ship to the right DC the first time,” Lindner said.

To learn more about the effects of transloading on the U.S. supply chain, attend the JOC’s Inland Distribution Conference, September 18-19th in Kansas City, MO.  To learn more about how PIERS can help you track U.S. import and export shipments register online for free demo.

JOC Insights by Mario Moreno: U.S. Apparel Imports Down in 1.7% in 2012

April 30, 2013

APPAREL IMPORTS DOWN IN 7 OF LAST 9 MONTHS

U.S. imports of apparel (HS code 61) slid 0.9% year-over-year in January after jumping 8.8% in December. Imports are down in 7 of the last 9 months. For all of 2012, apparel imports totaled $41.1 billion, down 1.7% over the prior year, partly owed to weak disposable income growth and soft demand from downstream retailers.

US Apparel Imports

REAL DISPOSABLE PERSONAL INCOME GROWTH PER CAPITA FLAT IN LAST 5 YEARS

A major driver of apparel imports is disposable personal income because ordinary clothes aren’t luxury goods.

U.S. real disposable personal income (RDPI) per capita grew a tiny 0.8% in 2012 over the prior year, and is up 0.2% in February 2013 over February 2012. The graph shows that since January 2000 RDPI per capita expanded steadily through end of 2006 but since then growth has flattened. This is downbeat for the outlook of apparel imports as they are linked to disposable income growth. RDPI per capita was up 14.8% in December 2006 over January 2000, and up a similar 14.5% in February 2013 over January 2000.

US Real Disposable Income per capita

CHINA REGAINING SHARE OF U.S. APPAREL IMPORTS IN 2012

In previous reports I’ve analyzed how China is losing share of U.S. imports of major labor-intensive goods including footwear, toys and furniture. But, in the case of apparel, the facts show otherwise.

China is the largest supplier of apparel to the U.S. and to the rest of the world by dollar value. China sourced 36.4% of all U.S. apparel imports in 2012, up by 0.3 percentage point from 2011, but still down by 0.3 percentage point from 2010. Although imports from China declined modestly last year, a small rebound was seen in its share of imports helped by marked decreased shipments from other emerging economies. Other source countries that gained significant share last year were Vietnam, up by 1 full percentage point to a total import share of 10.1%, and El Salvador, up by 0.3 percentage point to a total import share of 3.9%.

US Apparel Imports and Annual Growth Rates

In terms of annual growth, the data shows that imports from China dropped 1% last years after rising by 8% in 2011. Rising wages and costs challenge the obvious benefits of a well-developed manufacturing infrastructure, prompting relocation of production activities to Southeast Asia and Central America. Imports from Vietnam jumped 10% last year following an increase of 13% in 2011, while imports from El Salvador rose 6% last year following an increase of 6%. Strangely, imports from Mexico declined 7% last year after growing by 6% in 2011 despite near-sourcing advantages. Mexico’s share of imports declined from 3.4% in 2011 to 3.2% in 2012.

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

Spring Flowering Bulbs

April 4, 2013

Bulbs are self-contained little packages of power that will reward the grower with years of floral satisfaction!

2012_US_Waterborne_Flower_Bulb_Import

The United States has long been the biggest customer of flower bulbs from the Netherlands, over half of the exported flower bulbs are tulips; followed by gladioli, daffodils and hyacinths – accounting for almost 4,500 TEUs of flower bulb imports into the U.S. The Netherlands remains the center of production for the European floral market, as well as a major international supplier to other continents. The official start of tulip season in Amsterdam is January, running until the end of April. The Netherlands has the largest production area with 10,800 hectares, accounting for the many thousands of tulip variants in every color, which find their way into vases around the world.

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.

Now Welcoming…the Spanish Avocado

March 21, 2013

Avocados are everywhere; in commercials, discussed on health conscious websites, they are even popping up in fast food restaurants as burger garnishing. No longer just a seasonal fruit, avocados are available in the U.S. all year thanks to global trade. Although the U.S. is a major producer of avocados from California and Florida crops, it is also a major importer from countries such as Chile, the Dominican Republic and Peru.

Well recognized for quality, Spanish Hass avocados are known as one of the best avocados in Europe. Until recently though, Spanish Hass avocados were not permitted into the U.S. for fear of introducing new plant pests, particularly the Mediterranean Fruit Fly. Numerous studies conducted by American scientists concluded that the Hass cultivar, grown in Spain’s mainland, is not a carrier of the insect. Avocado batches not of the Hass variety will have to be treated for Mediterranean Fruit Fly control before they ship to the U.S. and shipments will need a Phytosanitary Certificate, with an additional declaration indicating that the avocados have been inspected and found pest-free under the requirements.

Image

During a briefing on the EU-US trade negotiations between the European Commission and the U.S. in February (as mentioned in a previous PIERS blog), were discussions regarding the changes in regulations to allow the exporting of Spanish avocados to the U.S. After over ten years of bureaucratic wrangling, it looks like America is finally about to allow the import of avocados from Spain, excluding the Balaeric Islands and Canary Islands where the Mediterranean Fruit Fly flourishes.

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.

Shamrock & Ale

March 14, 2013

It’s that time of the year again. By now, you should be getting ready to dust off your “Kiss Me,  I’m Irish” t-shirt and prepping the corned beef to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17. Parades, events, festivities and beer…lots of beer.

Image

Image

Even if your Irish heritage is a bit “contrived”, no one asks questions as long as you’re wearing green. Any Irish lad or lassie will tell you that this truly is a celebration for all, just grab a beer!


%d bloggers like this: