Early Lunar New Year Contributes to Drop in U.S. Containerized Imports, Volume Down 5.8 Percent in February

NEWARK, N.J., April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. containerized imports in February fell for the first time in four months on a year-over-year basis, sliding 5.8 percent to 1,193,157 twenty-foot-equivalent units as demand for furniture, toys and footwear declined on early closing of factories in China and soft consumer spending. The month-to-month drop was even more dramatic, as February imports plunged 18.6 percent from January.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120403/NY81412 )

While the timing of the Lunar New Year holiday, and related factory closings, made accurate year-over-year comparisons difficult, the 18.6 percent tumble from January suggests weakening volume, said Mario O. Moreno, economist for The Journal of Commerce/PIERS. Prior to the slide, furniture, the largest import commodity group, had been leading an import surge.

February imports from Asia tumbled 10 percent year over year, after a 3 percent increase in January. Moreno noted that his first quarter forecast of 1 percent growth in trade from Asia might be a bit optimistic.

"Overall demand for imported home goods remains relatively modest as the pace of home sales recovers at a stubbornly slow manner," Moreno said. "Meanwhile, consumer spending rose faster than incomes in February, mainly at the expense of savings, which raises a concern for the sustainability of spending in the long run."

Moreno's detailed analysis can be found in his March 30 blog post. Follow him on Twitter @MarioMoreno_JoC.

To become a member of The Journal of Commerce click here. Only JOC members get full access to all content and data on www.joc.com, access to the information needed to fully understand all the issues facing trucking, rail and maritime transportation. In addition, members get the weekly magazine, special reports, free webinars, the JOC mobile app, the JOC Daily Newswire and discounts to all JOC conferences and events. Members enjoy access to "By the Numbers," an exclusive weekly compilation of key industry statistics that provides detailed views of current market trends across all modes. Regular market intelligence reports -- utilizing PIERS trade data -- include Top 100 Imports and Exporters, quarterly Top 40 Container lines, Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic Maritime Forecasts and Top Container Ports and Terminals. Market-sector supplements, including Breakbulk, Cool Cargoes, 3PL, JOC Guide to Trucking and others, ensure all modes are comprehensively covered. 

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 (+1-973-776-8660 outside the U.S. or Canada).  

SOURCE UBM Global Trade



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