U.S. containerized exports jumped 8.2 percent year-over-year in August, to 1,073,240 20-foot-equivalent units, according to preliminary figures from PIERS, a JOC sister company. This was the highest monthly volume since March 2012.
Volumes have been rising and falling over the past year, but have not seen a year-over-year increase of more than 4.9 percent in any particular month until August. The last increase of this level was a 9.6 percent jump in June 2012.
August containerized exports rose 11.0 percent from July. For the first eight months of 2013, exports were up 1.6 percent year-over-year; August exports climbed 10.8 percent from containerized volume in January.
“Outbound containerized trade was surprisingly strong in August, partly attributed to China’s growing demand for consumer goods, notably food products,” Journal of Commerce economist Mario Moreno said in the October report of JOC Insights. “Looking ahead, U.S. exports of grains and flour to China are expected to turn around over the 2013-2014 forecast period as severe flooding earlier this year has cut into China’s reserves at a time when demand for high quality wheat is on the rise.”
Among August’s top 25 destination countries, mainland China saw the steepest growth in exports from the U.S. in August: shipments rose 26 percent to 272,865 TEUs. Shipments to Colombia totaled 15,287 TEUs in the month, up 20 percent year-over-year. Exports to Chile climbed 18 percent, to 15,116 TEUs. Shipments to Hong Kong fell the most, down 16 percent year-over-year to 25,818 TEUs. Volume to Thailand declined 12 percent to 12,337 TEUs, and Saudi Arabia followed with a loss of 8 percent to 12,539 TEUs.