Thursday, June 17, 2010

Report: California Exports Increase, Euro Crisis Could Be Problem

California exports posted a significant 21.8 percent increase in April compared to the same period last year, according to the latest analysis of US Commerce Department data by Beacon Economics.

Beacon reports that $11.26 billion in export goods were shipped abroad by state exporters in April, far exceeding the $9.24 billion the state's exporters sent to foreign markets in April 2009.

April was the sixth consecutive month of year-over-year increases in California 's export trade, said Beacon Economics International Trade Advisor Jock O'Connell.

Manufactured exports also climbed 18.8 percent over April 2009, said Beacon, while shipments of agricultural goods and other non-manufactured products were up by 29.6 percent. Re-exports of items previously imported into the state also rose by 28.1 percent.

However, O'Connell offered a warning on the positive look of the numbers.

"Impressive as these numbers certainly are, it's worth keeping in mind that we are still exporting less in real dollar terms than we were in April 2008," O'Connell said.

Beacon also reported that prospects for continued growth in the state's export trade appear to be mixed.

O'Connell warned that the debt crisis in Europe could pull down worldwide demand for California exports through the rest of 2010.

"Since January 1, the euro has lost between 16 percent and 18 percent of its value against the dollar and most other major currencies," O'Connell said. "So it's not simply that our goods have become more expensive for Europeans to buy, it also means that European goods have become cheaper for importers in countries like Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, and South Korea – which represent California's top five export markets."

O'Connell added that the United States competes intensively with European exports, "and they've just cut their prices."

The Beacon report said that some analysts are predicting that the Euro will fall even further, perhaps reaching $1.10 by this fall – a value not seen since the year the Euro was fist introduced.