Sunday, July 18, 2010

Seattle Shipping Boom: +45% Gain YTD from 2009

The chart above shows monthly shipping volume (TEUs = twenty-foot equivalent units, data here) at the Port of Seattle (America's 10th largest port, and third largest port on the West Coast).  As might be expected, shipping at the Seattle port is dominated by trade with China, to the extent that more than half (56%) of the shipping volume (by dollar amount) is with China, and the almost $19 billion of shipping with China in 2009 was more than the value of shipping with the next 100 countries combined.   

Shipping volume for June (190,129 TEUs) was 49% above last year's shipping in June, and this follows year-to-year increases of 57.38% in May, 57.2% in April, 39.4% in March, 48.2% in February and 21.7% in January.  Year-to-date, shipping volume at the Seattle port is above last year by 45.2%.  At this pace, annual Seattle shipping in 2010 will likely exceed both last year's shipping volume of 1.58 million TEUs and the 1.70 million TEUs in 2008, and possibly even the 1.973 TEUs in 2007.    


At 7/18/2010 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might be wrong, but I just can't help but look at this figure as somewhat of a "lagging" indicator.

At 7/18/2010 10:21 AM, Blogger McKibbinUSA said...

What is most intersting is that exports for YTD 2010 are up 50.8% -- unfortunately, imports were up over 64.3% for the same period -- we need to export more than we import if international trade is going to begin to contribute to the US GDP.

At 7/18/2010 10:58 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Hmmm, a couple of good and interesting comments here...

Note the following July 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/: U.S. Exports Rise 17.7 Percent in First Five Months of 2010

Data highlights include:

* U.S. exports totaled $739.5 billion during the January-through-May period of 2010, up 17.7 percent from the same period of 2009.

* The May export figure is the strongest year-to-date, as well as the strongest monthly performance since September, 2008.

* Among the major export markets, the largest percentage increases in goods exports occurred in Taiwan (68 percent), Korea (56 percent), Malaysia (51 percent), Singapore (45 percent), Philippines (45 percent), Czech Republic (44 percent), Indonesia (42 percent), Thailand (41 percent), China (39 percent) and Colombia (38 percent).

What I really think is good news is the increased business to the Pacific rim area...

'If' there is a fly in the oinment it 'might' be that the Exim bank is still propping some of this activity...

At 7/18/2010 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But, but, but . . . the subsidies, the loan guarnatees, the direct loans . . . . . .

Oh, Noes, don tell Benny. He thinks it's just agreeculture that gets subsideees.

At 7/18/2010 2:08 PM, Blogger James said...

Here is a less rosy view excerpted from an Ambrose Evans-Pritchard article at

The Fed minutes warned of "significant downside risks" and a possible slide into deflation, an admission that zero interest rates, $1.75 trillion of QE, and a fiscal deficit above 10pc of GDP have so far failed to lift the economy out of a structural slump.

"The Committee would need to consider whether further policy stimulus might become appropriate if the outlook were to worsen appreciably," it said. The economy might not regain its "longer-run path" until 2016.

"The Fed is throwing in the towel," said Gabriel Stein, of Lombard Street Research. "They are preparing to start QE again. This was predictable because the M3 broad money supply has been contracting for months."

The Fed minutes amount to a policy thunderbolt, evidence of how quickly the recovery has lost steam. Just weeks ago the Fed was mapping out withdrawal of stimulus.

Goldman Sachs said it expects the euro to rise to $1.35 by the end of the year. The yen will appreciate to ¥83, through the pain barrier for most of Japan's big exporters. The new twist is that SAFE, China's $2.4 trillion fund, has begun buying record amounts of Japanese bonds, a shift in reserve allocation away from the dollar.

The signs of a deep and sudden slowdown in the US are becoming ever clearer as the "sugar rush" from the Obama fiscal stimulus wears off and the inventory boost fades. California, Illinois and other states are cutting spending, tightening US fiscal policy by 0.8pc of GDP.

Thursday's plunge in the Philadelphia Fed's July index of new manufacturing orders to –4.3 suggests that the economy may have buckled abruptly, as it did in mid-2008. The Economic Cycle Research Institute's ECRI leading indicator has tumbled, reaching –8.3pc last week. This points to a sharp slowdown or recession within three months.

While US port data looked buoyant in June, the details were troubling. Outbound traffic from Long Beach fell from 139,000 containers in May to 116,000 in June. Shipments from Los Angeles fell from 161,000 to 155,000. This drop in exports is worsening the US trade deficit, eroding the dollar.

The US workforce has shrunk by a 1m over the past two months as discouraged jobless give up the hunt. Retail sales have fallen for the past two months. New homes sales crashed to 300,000 in May after tax credits ran out, the lowest since records began in 1963. Mortgage applications have fallen by 42pc to 13-year low since April. Paul Dales at Capital Economics said the "shadow inventory" of unsold properties has risen to 7.8m. "The double dip in housing has begun," he said.


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