U.S. Ocean Imports Grow 5 Percent in November

NEWARK, N.J., Jan. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. containerized import volume rose 5 percent year-over-year to 1,488,665 20-foot equivalent units in November, a sharp turnaround in the slumping market that was pushed by strong gains in shipments tied to the recovering housing industry, reported Mario O. Moreno, economist for The Journal of Commerce/PIERS.

Increases in home sales have buoyed the housing market, leading to a 7 percent November growth in shipments of furniture, a top import commodity, to 144,823 TEUs.
"A healthy housing market is key to the revival of U.S. containerized imports growth as many of the goods consumers purchase to furnish a home are imported," Moreno said. He pointed to additional expansion in November in cooking and heat appliances, lamps and parts, and kitchenware. Growth in these other commodities contributed to the increase in imports from China -- up 4.1 percent year over year to 706,399 TEUs -- the country's first rise in eight months. Demand for local lumber was a key factor in a surprising November increase of 515 percent in imports from Canada.

"The question is, are we seeing a self-sustained recovery in home sales?" Moreno said. "This will depend very much on how many jobs the economy can generate every month. ... Over the last 12 months through November, the economy generated an average of 132,000 jobs per month (NSA). We are not there yet, but getting closer."

On a month-to-month basis, overall imports edged up 0.3 percent in November, and year to date, imports were up 3 percent.

A full analysis of the JOC/PIERS findings is available online at www.joc.com.

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About PIERS
PIERS is the most comprehensive database of U.S. waterborne trade activity in the world providing information services to thousands of subscribers globally. Launched more than 35 years ago, PIERS was the first venture in digital global trade intelligence and quickly became the industry standard for accuracy, reliability and insight. Our unique infrastructure and proprietary technology allow us to not only publish import data but also complete coverage of U.S. export transactional data. PIERS is a division of UBM Global Trade, and a sister company of The Journal of Commerce. For more information, visit www.piers.com, or call 800-952-3839 (+1-973-776-8660).

About UBM Global Trade
UBM Global Trade is the leading provider of proprietary data, news, business intelligence and analytical content supporting commercial maritime, rail, trucking, warehousing and logistics industries worldwide. The company's portfolio of more than 100 online, print and interactive workflow business solutions includes The Journal of Commerce, Breakbulk, RailResource, PIERS and an array of international trade and transportation databases and directories. UBM Global Trade, a subsidiary of UBM plc, is headquartered in Newark, NJ, with offices throughout the United States. For more information, explore www.ubmglobaltrade.com or call 800-223-0243 (+1-973-848-7250 outside the U.S. or Canada).

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