International Trade News

Containerized imports at U.S. ports are projected to increase by double digits in January and February compared to the same months last year, when dozens of vessels were stranded outside of West Coast ports due to labor problems.

Although overall export revenues for Brazilian shoes fell 10 percent last year, to $960.4 million, sales during the last month of December ended on a high and rocketed 60 percent from November, to $119.57 million, raising the sector’s expectations for this year, according to Heitor Klein, the chief executive of Abicalçados, the Brazilian Association of Footwear Manufacturers.

The volume of cargo handled by the container trade around the globe this year will increase by a relatively “decent” 4 to 5 percent, but this growth will not be nearly enough to make a dent in the enormous glut of vessel capacity that will continue to erode freight rates.

Russia’s imports may increase significantly this year because of further devaluation of the ruble, making Russian goods more competitive in the global market, according to recent statements from the Russian Association of Commercial Seaports and analysts of the Russian Ministry of Transport.

India’s merchandise exports fell for the 13th month in a row in December, the longest streak of declines on record, but at a slower pace than the previous four months, according to preliminary foreign trade figures published by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

A Nittsu Research Institute and Consulting Inc. report predicts that Japan’s container throughput will contract 3.4 percent year-over-year in fiscal 2015 and grow just 1.3 percent in fiscal 2016, which begins April 1, due to weakness in China's economy.

Shares on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges were suspended on the first trading day of the year after stock prices plunged following indications that December manufacturing activity in China contracted for the 10th consecutive month.

auto manufacturing
Softness in key parts of the global economy is producing cautious forecasts about U.S. containerized imports and exports in 2016. High retail inventory levels have cast a pall over imports. The strong dollar and weak overseas demand are putting a dent in exports.

Despite growing at the slowest pace in four years, U.S. containerized imports of tableware and household goods reached an all-time high in 2015, riding on the back of increasing disposable income and an ongoing recovery in the home sales market.

A lack of global demand continues to drag down India’s export performance and the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership could further impact the country’s exports.