NEWARK, N.J., May 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The volume of U.S. exports of containerized goods reached the highest point in nearly three years in the first quarter, growing 11.6 percent over last year and reaching one of the highest points ever, according to an analysis by The Journal of Commerce/PIERS.
Exports of fabrics led the growth, expanding 66 percent over last year’s first quarter, and both lumber shipments and auto parts increased 33 percent, according to ocean shipping data that signaled a strong rebound in the U.S. export economy.
The 3,006,592 containers of exports, measured in 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), was the most counted since the second quarter of 2008, which was the most measured in any quarter since PIERS began tracking U.S. containerized imports and exports in 1987. The count was also the largest ever during any first quarter.
“The first quarter gains are a reflection of a continuing expansion of global manufacturing and a tumbling U.S. dollar,” said Mario Moreno, economist for The Journal of Commerce/PIERS.
The value of the dollar fell 5 percent against a basket of currencies around the world between the beginning of 2011 and May 6, Moreno noted.
On a country level, China remained the largest market for U.S. exports, followed by Japan. Exports to China grew 14 percent, and the increase of 77,030 TEUs was the largest to any single country. Exports to Japan increased 13 percent.
The largest percentage gain in U.S. exports was in goods shipped to Brazil, which grew 29 percent over last year’s first quarter.
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