International trade through Japan’s Port of Yokohama declined 6.2 percent in 2011 from 2010 to 2.8 million 20-foot equivalent units, according to preliminary figures released by the Yokohama municipal government.
Yokohama, Japan’s second-largest container port after Tokyo, exported nearly 1.5 million TEUs in 2011, down 6.6 percent from a year earlier. Imports of 1.3 million TEUs were down 5.9 percent.
The Yokohama municipal government blamed the decline on three factors: the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeastern part of the country in March 2011; heavy floods in Thailand; and the sharp appreciation of the yen against the U.S. dollar and other major currencies.
The natural disasters in Japan and Thailand caused serious disruptions to supply chains for Japanese automakers and other manufacturers. The stronger yen also hurt Japanese exports as it made Japanese products more expensive in foreign markets.
Yokohama handled 991,198 TEUs of containers in trade with China, its biggest trading partner, in 2011, up 0.8 percent from a year earlier. Exports to China totaled 563,704 TEUs, up 2.6 percent, while imports from China amounted to 427,494 TEUs, down 1.5 percent.
Yokohama handled 350,228 TEUs of containers in trade with the U.S., its second-biggest trading partner, in 2011, down a whopping 19.4 percent from a year earlier. Exports to the U.S. totaled 91,484 TEUs, down a staggering 28.5 percent, while imports from the U.S. amounted to 258,745 TEUs, down 15.5 percent.
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