Tuesday, January 15, 2013

California Export Trade Down in November

A labor strike at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and weakening demand for personal computers combined to shrink California’s merchandise export trade in November, according to the latest monthly trade report on the state by Beacon Economics.

According to Beacon’s examination of US Commerce Department foreign trade data, the total value of goods shipped abroad by California businesses in November 2012 totaled $13.33 billion, a decline of 5.3 percent over the $14.07 billion in exports recorded in November 2011. Adjusting for inflation, the true decline was 7.5 percent, according to Beacon.

Exports of manufactured products in November amounted to $8.25 billion, down by 3.7 percent from November 2011’s $8.57 billion, while shipments of produce, raw materials and other non-manufactured goods fell by 8.6 percent from $2.14 billion to $1.96 billion. Re-exports were also off by 7.2 percent, from $3.36 billion to $3.12 billion.

The November volumes were marginally affected by a strike by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which shut down 10 of 14 container terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The strike began the morning of Nov. 27 and was resolved the evening of Dec. 4. Regular port operations resumed the following day.

“While shippers certainly incurred financial losses attributable to delays in moving cargo through the two ports, the strike’s impact on the state’s overall export trade in November is largely an accounting matter,” Jock O'Connell, Beacon Economics’ international trade adviser said. “Cargo that didn't sail in November will more than likely turn up in December’s export statistics.”