Sharp decline in California’s exports

“August 2009 was a lousy month in an exceptionally dismal year for trade,” said Jock O’Connell, Beacon Economics’ International Trade Adviser.

By ·

After nine months of steady recovery, California’s merchandise export trade showed signs of faltering in August.

Although the $11.89 billion in goods shipped abroad this August exceeded the $10.03 billion the state’s exporters sent to foreign markets in August 2009 by 18.5 percent, August’s trade was just 0.2 percent ahead of July’s, according to an analysis by Beacon Economics of international trade data released late last week by the U.S. Commerce Department.

“August 2009 was a lousy month in an exceptionally dismal year for trade,” said Jock O’Connell, Beacon Economics’ International Trade Adviser. “So a nominally healthy year-over-year improvement isn’t all that comforting.”

In an interview with LM, O’Connell noted that the state’s electronics industry may have been one of brighter spots in an otherwise dismal forecast.
“There is some evidence that this sector will remain strong, given the demand for industry-wide reinvestment in IT,” he said.

What troubled O’Connell most was that August’s export trade was barely larger than July’s.

“Over the past decade, California’s export trade each August has exceeded July by an average of 7.0 percent,” he said.  “In that context, the 0.2 percent rise from July to August this year is disconcertingly anemic.” 
“You have to go back to 2006 to find August exports at this year’s level,” he added.

O’Connell warned that the rate of growth in California exports would continue to decelerate through the remainder of this year.

“I’m cautiously pessimistic about the next few months. Worldwide, a combination of tepid consumer spending coupled with government deficit-reduction measures is dampening demand for goods. These forces are acting as a powerful brake on what should be the more salutary impact of moves that have been weakening the dollar and thus making California goods more attractive on the world market.”

California accounted for 11.1 percent of all U.S. merchandise exports in August.

The state’s exports of manufactured products in August 2010 were up by 15.6 percent from last August, while shipments of agricultural goods and other non-manufactured products increased by 8.2 percent.  Re-exports of items previously imported into the state jumped by 34.6 percent.

On the import side of the ledger, the U.S. Commerce Department reports that California’s merchandise import trade totaled $30.35 billion in August, an increase of 26.6 percent over last August. California accounted for 17.8 percent of all U.S. merchandise imports in August. California’s nominal international trade deficit in August amounted to $18.47 billion.

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

Exports · Imports · Trade · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Efficiency improvements in Track/Trace Enhances Customer Loyalty
Consumer satisfaction with the quality of your products is clearly important, but the service you provide before and after the sale is equally important to any business, but often overlooked as benefiting the bottom line.
Download Today!
From the October 2016 Issue
Over the past decade we’ve seen a major trend in regards to safety regulations for freight transport within the United States as well as for import and export shippers—that trend is the “international­ization” of rules and regulations.
European Logistics Update: Post-Brexit U.K. moving ahead, but in which direction?
Badcock Home Furniture &more: Out with paper, in with Cloud TMS
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
How API Technology Connects the Transportation Economy
Dynamic decision making is made possible through accurate, actionable data. When combined with progress in data science and the Internet of Things, technology companies that add value to direct-to-carrier APIs and combine them with high-power data analytics will create new concepts for the information economy.
Register Today!
Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....
25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...

2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...