U.S. containerized exports rose 8.2 percent in May, the 20th straight year-to-year increase, and were up 11.2 percent through the first five months of this year, according to figure from PIERS, a sister company of The Journal of Commerce.
May’s increase marked a slowdown after a 12.5 percent gain in April, but included strong growth in the raw materials that are used in forming the packaging used in Asia’s manufacturing industry.
Containerized exports of paper and paperboard, including wastepaper, rose 14 percent to 153,390 20-foot-equivalent units and accounted for 15 percent of the 1,016,376 TEUs of total imports during May.
Other big increases included 29 percent for logs and lumber, to 35,402 TEUs, and 26 percent for motor vehicles, to 34,181 TEUs.
Pet and animal feeds shipments declined 27 percent to 39,017 TEUs. Raw cotton and fabrics fell 3 percent to 30,567 as shipments declined from peak levels caused by frenzied overseas demand earlier this year.
Shipments to China, the top destination for containerized exports, rose 5 percent to 209,639 TEUs in May. Japan, the No. 2 U.S. market for containerized exports, rose 2 percent to 76,542 TEUs. Also rising 2 percent were No. 3 South Korea, to 58,122 TEUs, and No. 5 Hong Kong, to 40,725 TEUs.
Big gainers among others in the 10 countries for U.S. containerized exports included No. 4 Taiwan, up 27 percent to 50,964 TEUs; No. 6 Brazil, up 25 percent to 31,701 TEUs, and No. 7 India, up 21 percent to 30,794 TEUs.