Containerized imports at the Port of Los Angeles in February declined 7.8 percent from February 2011 as the nation’s largest container port made it through what is expected to be its slowest month of the year for imports.
Exports, however, increased 9.6 percent compared to February 2011. Containerized exports run counter-cyclical to imports in the winter months and usually remain strong through the spring.
Exports are expected to continue to be strong for some time as a weak dollar and relatively strong economies in Asia attract imports of U.S. food products and other commodities. February marked the 21st consecutive month of export growth in Los Angeles.
When all container movements are considered, including imports, exports and empties, the total container volume in February declined 5.3 percent compared to the same month last year.
February was an especially slow month for imports this year because the Chinese New Year celebration began in late January. With many factories in Asia shut down for about two weeks, exports to the U.S. plunged. Carriers responded by cancelling voyages or sending some vessels into dry dock for their annual maintenance program.