Thursday, May 11, 2017

LA area Port Traffic increased in April

by Bill McBride on 5/11/2017 02:38:00 PM

Container traffic gives us an idea about the volume of goods being exported and imported - and usually some hints about the trade report since LA area ports handle about 40% of the nation's container port traffic.

From the Port of LA: Port of Los Angeles April Cargo Volumes Set New Record

April cargo volumes surged 8.9 percent at the Port of Los Angeles compared to the same month last year. It was the best April in the Port’s 110-year history.
From the Port of Long Beach: Port of Long Beach Sees April Boost
More ships calling at the Port of Long Beach in April thanks to new business and changes to vessel deployments helped to push container volumes 16.5 percent higher compared to the same month last year.
The following graphs are for inbound and outbound traffic at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in TEUs (TEUs: 20-foot equivalent units or 20-foot-long cargo container).

To remove the strong seasonal component for inbound traffic, the first graph shows the rolling 12 month average.

LA Area Port TrafficClick on graph for larger image.

On a rolling 12 month basis, inbound traffic was up 0.9% compared to the rolling 12 months ending in March.   Outbound traffic was up 0.5% compared to 12 months ending in March.

The downturn in exports in 2015 was probably due to the slowdown in China and the stronger dollar.  Now exports are picking up again,

The 2nd graph is the monthly data (with a strong seasonal pattern for imports).

LA Area Port TrafficUsually imports peak in the July to October period as retailers import goods for the Christmas holiday, and then decline sharply and bottom in February or March depending on the timing of the Chinese New Year.  

The Chinese New Year was early this year, so imports declined in February and rebounded in March

In general both exports and imports have been increasing.