Exports up again for California

The $12.49 billion in goods California businesses shipped abroad in November exceeded the $10.95 billion sent to foreign markets in November 2009 by a healthy 14.1 percent, according to an analysis by Beacon Economics of foreign trade data recently released by the U.S. Commerce Departmen

By ·

California’s exporters racked up another impressive performance in November, even while failing to keep pace with growth in the overall U.S. export trade. 

The $12.49 billion in goods California businesses shipped abroad in November exceeded the $10.95 billion sent to foreign markets in November 2009 by a healthy 14.1 percent, according to an analysis by Beacon Economics of foreign trade data recently released by the U.S. Commerce Department.

“On the bright side, this was our best November ever in inflation-adjusted terms, and it did mark the thirteenth consecutive month of year-over-year increases in California’s export trade,” said Jock O’Connell, Beacon Economics’ International Trade Adviser.

“The not-so-good news is that California was decisively outpaced by the nation as a whole in overall merchandise export growth in November, 19.4 percent to 14.1 percent,” he added.

California’s export trade includes a relatively high percentage of re-exports, items that were previously imported into the U.S. and which have had no significant value-added prior to being shipped abroad.

“California’s numerous trading companies do a superb job sourcing goods from around the world and matching them with foreign customers,” O’Connell said.  “That’s why California’s re-export trade leaped by 36.3 percent in November.” In contrast, exports of goods manufactured in California grew by just 6.7 percent over November 2009, while overall U.S. manufactured exports surged by 16.7 percent. Likewise, exports of non-manufactured goods rose by 16.4 percent in California, while increasing by 22.9 percent nationally.

In an interview with LM, O’Connell noted that the ports of LA/Long Beach and Oakland are reporting a surge in outbound volume, but that export figures can be deceiving.

“When measured in true value, the cargo is still marginal,” he said. “The vessels are coming in with expensive commodities from China and the Far East, and leaving with hay and waste material.  It’s not what we would describe as a fair balance.”
California accounted for 11.1 percent of all U.S. merchandise exports in November, but just 9.6 percent of its manufactured exports. The state’s exports of non-manufactured goods did represent 12.4 percent of the nation’s exports of those goods, but fully 19.8 percent of the nation’s shipments of re-exported goods came from California.

As a consequence, O’Connell says California’s export trade has a less immediate positive impact on the state’s economy and on its propensity for job creation.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Boost your retail performance with an integrated solution
From outbound and inbound route planning to inventory management, and workforce optimization to home delivery planning, your planners need the full picture to make the best decisions.
Download Today!
From the September 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
While Amazon’s recent bid to purchase Whole Foods made mainstream headlines, the e-commerce giant will still need to adhere to time-tested realities. Any way you slice it, the integrated U.S. cold chain requires optimized service from existing ports, 3PLs, cold storage warehousing, transportation providers and high-value vendors.
Improving 3PL Management: Glanbia Adds Muscle to Logistics
Why Retail Supply Chain Transformations Fail - and how to get it right
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
EDITORS' PICKS
26th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends: Transportation at Digital Speed
While a majority of companies strongly agree that transportation is a strategically important...
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...

2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...