Hello, it’s IINO.
I would like to broadcast IINO san’s Logistics Radio.
Today I would like talk about, “Imports from Asia in the U.S. in the first quarter do not indicate a slowdown in consumer demand”.
Daily Logistics Radio by IINO san in 26th Apr. 2022
Imports from Asia in the First Quarter
The article reports that the growth in U.S. imports from Asia in the first quarter indicates that consumer demand remains strong, despite warnings of rising inflation and a return to services spending that has yet to materialize.
Data show that total imports in the first quarter of January-March 2022 were 1.62 million TEU, up 2.7% from last year’s first quarter, which already set a record.
This is still more growth than last year when the record was set.
East Coast Market Share Increase
The data also shows that East Coast and Gulf Coast market shares are now increasing with imports from Asia, with a corresponding decrease in West Coast market share.
This is because retailers are shifting some of their imports from the West Coast to outside the East Coast this year because of the labor agreement negotiations between the ILWU, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and PMA, Pacific Maritime Association, in the West Coast ports.
And U.S. imports from Asia in March 2022 increased 4% from the previous month, February, and continued to grow in March.
Terminals will continue to struggle, according to the report.
Aggressive Cargo Volumes in the Second Quarter
The National Retail Federation predicts that U.S. ports will contend with aggressive cargo volumes for port-related supply chains if import volumes in the second quarter of this year are up or flat year over year.
They are concerned about challenging conditions in the second quarter.
An April 7 report from the Global Port Tracker, published by the National Retail Federation, states that “Ports are not as overwhelmed as they were a year ago, but they are still remarkably busy handling record volumes of cargo.”
While conditions at the ports are better than they were last year, they are still busy.
Inflation and Rising Energy Prices
A year ago, North American West Coast ports handled record container volumes from Asia.
Now, import growth is moderating, but U.S. ports must adapt to the new upward trend in import volumes from Asia.
First quarter imports from Asia this year are up 31.1% in the U.S. compared to the first quarter of 2019 before Corona pandemic.
Import volumes are higher than before Corona pandemic, and demand has not fallen in the first quarter of this year, but rather has grown.
The invasion of Ukraine began at the end of February and oil prices have been rising since January 2022.
The key point is how much demand will be suppressed by inflation and soaring of energy prices in North America.
As mentioned in the article, even if import volumes in the second quarter are flat, demand is growing in the first quarter, so North American ports are going to have a tough time.
I will continue to monitor the market. That’s all for today. Thank you.