China-U.S. Trade and Imbalances Grow and Grow

Imports from China to the United States last year climbed to 129.6 billion pounds, a jump of 19.2%. With a value of $235.2 billion, that meant a dollar growth of 24.4%. Overall, import tonnage from all sources—including China--was up 4.2%with an increase of 15.1% in value. Colography notes that some of this increase can be put on the climb in petroleum prices. In fact, according to the study, more vessel tonnage in 2005 was imported from Venezuela than any other trading partner and petroleum was the main product imported.

In 2005, the United States exported 74.2 billion pounds to China, a figure that is up a mere 2% over 2004 exports. Value of these goods increased by 13%. The value of goods exported to all trading partners—including China—was up 10%, at 791.2 billion pounds, an overall gain of just 1.2%.

Most imports from China last year moved by ocean, 128 billion pounds, a 19%climb from 2004. The value of this ocean freight was up 21% to $180 billion. Freight moving by ocean from the United States to China last year was up under 2%, with 73.9 billion pounds moving and a value of $23.4 billion, up 16%.

The value of imports moving by air in 2005 was up a whopping 37%, with a value of $54.8 billion. It weighed 1.8 billion pounds and represented 20% of all U.S. air import trade, which was a 21% increase year over year. For exports, tonnage grew by 3% to 265.3 million pounds with a value that was up 8% at $11 billion.

Colography Group president, Ted Scherck, notes that, “For every dollar of air value exported to China, nearly five dollars was imported. In the ocean trade, imports from China swelled by more than 20 billion pounds, while exports, albeit off a smaller base, rose only by 1.4 billion pounds. The data quantifies the oft-stated belief the widening U.S. trade gap with China shows little signs of narrowing.”

www,colography.com) specializes in strategic consulting solutions--supported by rich and comprehensive shipping databases--to businesses, governments and financial analysts seeking to capitalize on opportunities in the global time-definite, or expedited, cargo market. Its data is based on information gained from on-going and detailed interviews with thousands of shipping decision-makers.

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