NEW JERSEY, USA (Commodity Online): Led by strong demand for agricultural products in Asia, U.S. containerized exports expanded 6.7 percent in the third quarter, according to figures released today by The Journal of Commerce/PIERS, leaving export volume from the United States up 8.3 percent through the first nine months of 2011.
Westbound trans-Pacific trade for the third quarter rose 10.4 percent year-over-year to 1,653,158 20-foot-equivalent units, pushed by a surge in exports to China. The top market for U.S. exports, China followed its second quarter increase of 6 percent with a 13 percent jump in the third quarter to 652,069 TEUs.
An increase in grain containerization and strong demand for wastepaper and scrap metal contributed to the third quarter total of 2,933,396 TEUs exported, which marked the eighth consecutive quarter of containerized exports growth.
"Grain importers in China are finding financing more readily available when their shipments are containerized, which is driving a shift in shipment methods for grains and soybeans," said Mario O. Moreno, economist for The Journal of Commerce/PIERS, noting a third quarter leap of 98 percent in containerized soybean volumes to 40,298 TEUs.
The results were in line with Moreno’s forecast of 6.3 percent growth in exports in the quarter and a forecast of 10 percent growth in the trans-Pacific market, as outlined in The Journal of Commerce’s recent Container Shipping Outlook.
The westbound trans-Pacific volumes represented 56 percent of total exports. Shipments to Taiwan, Korea and Australia rose 24 percent, 12 percent and 19 percent, respectively, while exports to Italy dropped 23 percent to 31,275 TEUs.