U.S. containerized imports decelerated sharply in August after jumping by 10.5 percent year over year in July, according to figures from PIERS, a JOC sister company. Total U.S. containerized imports edged up 0.6 percent in August 2012 compared to August 2011, to a total of 1,54 million TEUs. Imports declined 2.1 percent in August versus July. Year to date, through August, overall U.S. containerized imports were up 3.2 percent.
Leading the gains were auto parts, up 16 percent versus August, 2011; decorations, up 12 percent; still wines, up 17 percent; and paper & paperboard, up 6 percent. Leading the losses were footwear, down 30 percent; auto tires, down 14 percent; and computers, down 15 percent, all compared to August 2011.
On a regional level, imports from Mediterranean ports led the gains, up 20 percent versus August, 2011, and totaled 81,178 TEUs. Northern Europe followed with a gain of 8 percent to 154,153 TEUs. On the downside, shipments from Northeast Asia, a region including China, dropped 4 percent to 913,028 TEUs, while shipments from Southeast Asia fell 2 percent to 145,497 TEUs. Imports from all of Asia declined 4 percent versus August, 2011.
Among source countries, shipments from Brazil showed the highest expansion, up 39 percent versus August 2011 to 26,628 TEUs. Italy followed with a gain of 19 percent while Germany’s volumes advanced by 10 percent. On the downside, China and Hong Kong declined by 5 percent and 18 percent, respectively. Shipments from China totaled 716,344 in the month.