U.S. containerized imports grew 2.5 percent year-over-year in July, according to advance figures from PIERS, a JOC sister company. U.S. containerized imports totaled 1.62 million 20-foot-equivalent units in July, the highest volume since 1.65 million in August 2007.
“Among commodities, we expect further gains in auto parts and tires; housing-related inputs and furnishings will perform well through mid-2014, but growth in this sector will taper off as mortgage rates rise and overall housing economic activity declines,” said Journal of Commerce economist Mario Moreno in the September report of JOC Insights. “I also believe the recent upturn in footwear imports is the beginning of a positive trend. Among agricultural and horticultural goods, U.S. imports of meats should begin to slow later in 2014 as domestic cattle herds are replenished after the severe drought of 2012.”
Containerized import volume in July jumped 8.1 percent from June. For the first seven months of 2013, imports have increased 2.3 percent year-over-year; July imports are up 9.0 percent from containerized volume in January.
Eastbound trans-Pacific imports saw a 2 percent year-over-year increase to 1.18 million TEUs in July. The largest increase came from the east coast of South America, which jumped 28 percent in volume to 35,716 TEUs from 27,998 in July 2012. The largest drop was in imports from the Middle East, down 10 percent to 8,113 TEUs.
Among the top 25 source countries, U.S. imports from Brazil showed the largest increase in July, up 30 percent year-over-year to 29,098 TEUs. Shipments from Spain totaled 17,223 TEUs in July, up 16 percent year-over-year. France’s exports to the U.S. in July totaled 17,457 TEUs, growing 11 percent year-over-year. Shipments from Costa Rica showed the biggest drop, off 13 percent year-over-year to 14,526 TEUs. The Netherlands followed with a drop of 11 percent year-over-year, to 20,681 TEUs. Imports from Ecuador experienced a decline of 10 percent, down to 9,705 TEUs.