Wednesday, February 18, 2009

LA Area Ports: Exports Decline in January

by Bill McBride on 2/18/2009 04:46:00 PM

The LA area port traffic data, released today, suggests U.S. exports continued to decline in January.

LA Area Port Traffic Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the combined loaded inbound and outbound traffic at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in TEUs (TEUs: 20-foot equivalent units or 20-foot-long cargo container). Although containers tell us nothing about value, container traffic does give us an idea of the volume of goods being exported and imported.

Inbound traffic was 14% below last January. This slowdown in imports (inbound traffic to the U.S.) is hitting Asian countries hard. There was a slight increase from December to January, but that appears to be mostly seasonal (the data is NSA).

For the LA area ports, outbound traffic continued to decline in January, and was 28% below the level of January 2008. Export traffic is now at about the same level as in 2005. The suggest U.S. exports continued to decline in January after declining sharply in the 2nd half of 2008.