Global trade: Mixed economic report for Golden State shippers

California's merchandise export trade in May showed an impressive 25.7 percent gain over May of last year, but still fell well shy of export levels recorded two years ago

By ·

California’s merchandise export trade in May showed an impressive 25.7 percent gain over May of last year, but still fell well shy of export levels recorded two years ago.
The $11.9 billion in goods shipped abroad this May easily exceeded the $9.5 billion the state’s exporters sent to foreign markets in May 2009, according to an analysis by Beacon Economics of international trade data released this morning by the U.S. Commerce Department.
May marked the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year increases in California’s export trade, according to Jock O’Connell, Beacon’s International Trade Adviser.
“While we should definitely celebrate a $2.4 billion increase in exports over last May, we still have a ways to go before reaching the levels of trade seen before the onset of the global economic and financial crisis,” he said.
In inflation-adjusted terms, California’s export trade in May 2010 was 7.3 percent below the value of exports reported in May 2008, he noted.
California’s exports of manufactured products in May 2010 were up by 25.5 percent from last May, while shipments of agricultural goods and other non-manufactured products increased by 16.5.  Re-exports of previously imported items jumped by 32.2 percent.
May’s rise in the state’s export trade was reflected at most of California’s major international trade gateways. The number of loaded shipping containers leaving the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were up by 9.4 percent over last year.  Export growth through the Port of Oakland was more sluggish, with the number of outbound, loaded shipping containers edging up by just 4.5 percent from last May’s totals.
At the state’s two primary international airports, export tonnage in May rose by 20% at Los Angeles International and by 48.7 percent at San Francisco
International.  Historically, the two airports have accounted for just over half of California’s exports in dollar terms.
“That huge jump in exports through SFO was primarily indicative of a sharp increase in shipments of high-value electronics products by Silicon Valley firms,” O’Connell observed.
California accounted for 11.3 percent of all U.S. merchandise exports in May.
On the import side of the ledger, the U.S. Commerce Department reports that California’s merchandise import trade totaled $26.8 billion in May, an increase of 29.9 percent over last May ($20.6 billion).
California accounted for 17.2 percent of all U.S. merchandise imports in May.
California’s nominal international trade deficit in May amounted to $14.8 billion.
Despite all the increases, the outlook for sustained strong growth in trade is less encouraging now than it had been earlier in the year, O’Connell cautioned. He specifically expressed concern that the decisions taken at the recent G-20 summit in Toronto to shrink public sector spending will dampen overseas demand for California products through the rest of this year.
“The deficit hawks have been gaining the upper-hand in charting fiscal policy in almost every major world economy,” he said. “As a result, no one is forecasting robust economic growth. Instead, there is a general sense that the tide is going out as we move into a period of slackening demand with the timidity of the private sector now being matched by the austerity of governments worldwide


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!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Logistics Network Analysis
Logistics network monitoring is an important step in understanding what actually occurs throughout your supply chain.
Download Today!
From the January 2018 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Industry experts agree that costs across all sectors worldwide will continue to rise in 2018, and the most successful shippers will be those that are able to mitigate their impact on profitability. And, the right technology will play an increasingly vital role in driving efficiencies across the global logistics network.
The Future of Retail Distribution
Navigating the Reverse Supply Chain for Connected Devices
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
IAM, IoT and the Connected Supply Chain
There are three primary models of Identity and Access Management (IAM) technology that CTOs, CSOs, and Supply Chain executives are using to enhance their trading partner communities. While each leverages IAM and the IoT as core components only an “Outside-in” approach truly connects people, systems and things reliably and securely across the supply chain.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
State of Global Logistics: Delivering above and beyond
Industry experts agree that costs across all sectors worldwide will continue to rise in 2018, and...
2018 Rate Outlook: Economic Expansion, Pushing Rates Skyward
Trade and transport analysts see rates rising across all modes in accordance with continued...

Building the NextGen Supply Chain: Keeping pace with the digital economy
Peerless Media’s 2017 Virtual Summit shows how creating a data-rich ecosystem can eliminate...
2017 NASSTRAC Shipper of the Year: Mallinckrodt; Mastering and managing complexity
An inside look at how a large pharmaceutical firm transformed its vendor and supplier relationships...