Monday, April 17, 2006

West Coast Ports: March imports up, Record Exports

by Calculated Risk on 4/17/2006 08:09:00 PM

The Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles reported record exports for March and very strong imports.

Import traffic at the Port of Long Beach increased 11.9% compared to February and was 34.4% higher than March 2005. A total of 282 thousand loaded cargo containers came into the Port of Long Beach, compared to 252 thousand in February.

For the Port of Los Angeles, import traffic increased 37.6% in March compared to February, and imports were up 33% from March 2005. March imports were 341 thousand containers.

For both ports, exports traffic set all time records. For Long Beach, outbound traffic was up 8% to 118.7 thousand containers. At Los Angeles, outbound traffic was up 19% to 128 thousand containers.

The previous export record for Long Beach was 110.7 thousand containers set in August 2005. For Los Angeles, the record was 115 thousand containers set in March 2005.

The quantity of containers says nothing about the content value, but provides a rough guide on imports from China and the rest of Asia. Given these numbers, I expect record exports to Asia for March and even stronger imports.

Are we looking at the first $70 Billion monthly trade deficit (for March)? Maybe.