The number of foreign trade containers handled by the Port of Osaka in western Japan rose 9.8 percent in 2011 from the previous year to a record high of about 2.17 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
According to preliminary figures released by the Osaka municipal government, about 960,000 TEUs were exported last year, up 10.3 percent, and about 1.21 million TEUs were imported, up 9.3 percent.
Container numbers in trade with individual countries were not given.
In terms of volume, Osaka handled about 32.43 million tons of container cargo in foreign trade in 2011, up 7.2 percent from a year earlier. Exports totaled about 7.45 million tons, down 3.4 percent, and imports amounted to about 24.98 million tons, up 10.8 percent.
The volume of foreign trade containers handled by Osaka in 2011 was also the largest on record. The previous record of about 30.76 million tons was set in 2007.
The Osaka municipal government said that the volume of cargo exports fell last year due to such factors as the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, and the steep appreciation of the yen, which makes Japanese products more expensive abroad. But the volume of cargo imports grew at a healthy pace, resulting in an increase in the volume of overall cargo trade, the municipal government said.
Osaka’s container cargo exports to the United States tumbled 20.0 percent in volume in 2011 from a year earlier to 341,253 tons, while its container cargo imports from the U.S. soared 30.7 percent to 563,317 tons.
In 2011, the U.S. was Osaka’s fifth-largest container export destination after China, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and the Japanese port’s sixth-biggest source of container imports after China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
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