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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

LA area Port Traffic: Down year-over-year in February

by Calculated Risk on 3/18/2014 06:01:00 PM

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

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 down 0.6% compared to the rolling 12 months ending in January.   Outbound traffic was down 0.2% compared to 12 months ending in January.

Inbound traffic has generally been increasing, and outbound traffic has mostly been moving sideways.

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).

Inbound traffic was down 7% compared to February 2013 and outbound traffic was down 2%.

This suggests a decrease in trade the trade deficit with Asia in February.