U.S. containerized exports rose 1.5 percent year-over-year in May, totaling 1,044,837 20-foot-equivalent units, according to preliminary figures from PIERS, a JOC sister company. The increase followed a similar, albeit smaller, year-over-year rise of 0.8 percent in April’s volume. May containerized exports were also up 3.2 percent month-to-month.
“From April to May, exports were up by 1.1 percent over the same period in 2012, in line with the forecast of 1.0 percent growth for second quarter as reported in the June report of Container Shipping Outlook,” said Journal of Commerce economist Mario Moreno in the July report of JOC Insights. “The global economy continues to face significant risks, which recently led the IMF to downgrade its 2013 forecast for global GDP from 3.3 percent to 3.1 percent.”
U.S. containerized exports to Asia in May increased 2 percent year-over-year, however, year-to-date through May, the trade to Asia was only just 0.4 percent. January through May exports to all regions increased 1.2 percent from the year-earlier period.
Of May’s top 25 containerized export commodities, the highest year-over-year increases were in logs and lumber, which increased 18 percent; fabrics, up 13 percent; and pet and animal feeds, up 12 percent. The largest export declines were in scrap metals, down 15 percent; plastic products, down 14 percent; and foam waste, down 12 percent.
Among May’s top 25 destination countries, Turkey had the steepest increase in exports from the U.S. in May — shipments rose 23 percent to 15,573 TEUs. Shipments to Brazil totaled 28,423 TEUs in the month, up 22 percent year-over-year. Exports to Colombia also climbed 22 percent to 13,269 TEUs. On the declining end, shipments to Germany fell the most, down 13 percent year-over-year to 21,408 TEUs. Volume to Hong Kong also declined 13 percent to 29,487 TEUs, while Taiwan followed with a loss of 10 percent to 44,964 TEUs.