Zepol market intelligence finds US imports up 2.6pc in first quarter
US IMPORT shipments for March increased 11.9 per cent from February, according to trade intelligence company Zepol Corporation, which said this was not surprising due to February's low numbers.
It said that more significant is the total 2.6 per cent rise in TEU for the first quarter of 2012, compared to first quarter of 2011, as well as the 6.2 per cent rise this March from March of 2011. In addition, first quarter of 2012 outpaced the first-quarter numbers for the past three years, a statement posted on Marketwire via Comtex said.
In March US imports from China had a spike in TEU of 12.3 per cent from February, but dropped from January by 20 per cent. Total TEU imports from China for first quarter of 2012 were up by a mere 0.1 per cent from first quarter of 2011. However, a more notable increase came from Germany, which rose 20 per cent in March from February. Imports from Germany also had a significant increase of 15.4 per cent in first quarter of 2012 from first quarter of 2011.
The majority of inbound cargo to US ports rose in March from February, but failed to surpass January's TEU. The Port of Los Angeles increased in imports by 22.4 per cent from February, but is down 10.6 per cent from January.
Similarly, the Port of Long Beach rose in March by 26.8 per cent but was still lower than January imports by 13 per cent. Many US ports saw a small increase in TEU imports for first quarter of 2012 compared to first quarter of 2011. Ports worth mentioning are the Port of Houston and the Port of Charleston, which both rose over 11 per cent in first quarter, and were the only ports in the top-10-list to show increases over 10 per cent.
For Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (VOCC), there were few that rose in TEU imports from February and almost all were down from January's numbers. Evergreen Line decreased 12.9 per cent from February and 13 per cent from January.
Conversely, Mediterranean Shipping Company increased 13.7 per cent from February and 2.4 per cent from January, the only top-10 VOCC to rise from January imports in March. For Q1 of 2012, Maersk Line spiked 20.6 per cent from first quarter of 2011 and China Ocean Shipping Company also saw a large increase of 16.2 per cent for first quarter.
Zepol's data is derived from bills of lading entered into the US automated manifest system.
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