U.S. containerized exports in February rose 9.6 percent from a year earlier, driven by strong gains in paper and paperboard, building materials and refrigerated goods, PIERS data show.
February’s total of 1,014,176 20-foot equivalent units represented a 4 percent increase from January volume.
Shipments of paper and paperboard, the largest containerized export commodity, increased 18 percent to 154,271 TEUs. These shipments include wastepaper that is recycled into packing material for shipments back to the U.S. and Europe.
Pet food and animal feed, the second-ranking commodity, increased 12 percent to 48,227 TEUs.
Poultry exports rose 62 percent to 22,267 TEUs. Frozen fish shipments jumped 157 percent to 10,524 TEUs. Exports of building materials nearly tripled to 13,788 TEUs. Metal scrap was up 28 percent to 13,139 TEUs.
Exports of raw cotton and fabrics declined 15 percent to 37,692 TEUs. Logs and lumber were down 7 percent to 27,425 TEUs. Synthetic resins fell 21 percent to 16,488 TEUs.
Northeast Asia, the top destination for U.S. containerized exports, showed 12 percent growth to 459,713 TEUs, or 45.3 percent of total export volume. Shipments to North Europe increased 19 percent to 135,384 TEUs.
Strong gains also were posted in exports to the Caribbean, up 49 percent to 55,813 TEUs, and the west coast of South America, where exports increased 16 percent to 35,621 TEUs, boosted by increased shipments of paper and paperboard, PVC resins and auto parts.
Exports to the Mediterranean fell 18 percent to 40,841 TEUs. Shipments to Southeast Asia fell 9 percent to 73,973 TEUs.