U.S. containerized imports increased 2 percent year-over-year in April, rebounding from a 7.3 percent year-over-year decline in March, according to advance figures from PIERS, a JOC sister company. U.S. containerized imports totaled 1.48 million 20-foot-equivalent unitsfor the month of April, the second-highest year-to date monthly volume, behind January.
Containerized imports jumped 17.6 percent in April 2013 sequentially from March. Although an increase during this time of the year is common, the jump in import TEUs was the largest month-to-month rise in the past four Aprils.
“In line with expectations, imports started the second quarter with a modest rebound despite economic challenges in the manufacturing and employment front,” JOC economist Mario Moreno said in the June report of JOC Insights. “Going forward, I anticipate that the overall inbound trade will continue to be buffeted by the improving U.S. housing and auto markets.”
Leading the gains among the top 25 imported goods were footwear, with a 17 percent year-over-year jump; medical equipment and supplies, up 15 percent; and auto parts, menswear, and kitchenwear, all up 11 percent. The largest declines were in toys, down 9 percent; miscellaneous sporting goods, down 6 percent; lamps and parts, declining 5 percent; and bananas, slipping 4 percent.
Among the top 25 source countries, U.S. imports from Spain showed the biggest increase in April 2013, up 23 percent year-over-year to to 13,775 TEUs. Shipments from Belgium totaled 23,091 TEUs in April, up 18 percent year-over-year. India's exports to the U.S. in April 2013 totaled 39,879 TEUs, growing 14.7 percent year-over-year. Of the largest decreases, shipments from Ecuador showed the biggest decline, off 10.7 percent year-over-year to 9,513 TEUs. Hong Kong followed with a 10.6 percent year-over-year drop to 31,764 TEUs, while Costa Rica’s volume fell 7.5 percent year-over-year to 15,568 TEUs.