U.S. Imports May Not be High as Many Hoped

The number of waterborne shipments coming into the U.S. experienced a 2% month-over-month decline from April to May, according to the research team at Panjiva, global trade intelligence providers. Previous years’ April to May changes were all positive: +8% in 2011, +12% in 2010, +2% in 2009, +3% in 2008.

The number of global manufacturers shipping to the U.S. went up slightly — +0.4% — from April to May. April-to-May changes in previous years: +6% in 2011, +9% in 2010, +2% in 2009, and +3% in 2008. These numbers seem to contradict import projections for June put out recently by industry groups, one as high as 5% over last year. Panjiva CEO Josh Green told MH&L why he doesn’t think that’s realistic.

“We would need to see a significant increase from May to June to hit some of the optimistic numbers other industry groups project for imports in June,” he said. “We would have to see a 2% increase from May to June and typically we see a decline from May to June. We are, however, still tracking a couple percentage points ahead of last year and a universe of industry folks will take that, given all the turmoil we’ve seen in the last couple years, so we should feel good about that. Nevertheless, given the trouble in Europe, it’s hard to expect great things from the second half of this year.”

Related Editorial:

U.S. Import Cargo Volume up 4.8% in June

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