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Thursday, December 17, 2015

LA area Port Traffic increased YoY in November

by Calculated Risk on 12/17/2015 02:10:00 PM

First, from the Port of Long Beach: Port Sees Fifth Straight Month of Cargo Gains

Strong cargo volume continued at the Port of Long Beach in November with 6.6 percent growth in container trade over the same month last year. It was the fifth straight month of increases and enough cargo to rack up the second-busiest November in the Port’s 104-year history.
Upcoming post-holiday sales planned by retailers across the country drove the Port’s strong cargo numbers.
Note: There were some large swings in LA area port traffic earlier this year due to labor issues that were settled in late February. Port traffic surged in March as the waiting ships were unloaded (the trade deficit increased in March too), and port traffic declined in April.

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.

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 0.5% compared to the rolling 12 months ending in October.   Outbound traffic was down 0.4% compared to 12 months ending in October.

The recent downturn in exports might be due to the strong dollar and weakness in China.

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).

Imports were up 6% year-over-year in November; exports were down 5% year-over-year.