Obviously, port data is a great way to get a read on global trade, and because of its natural connection to China, the Port of LA is always watched closely.
Citi’s Christian Wetherbee recently held a conference call with Port of LA Business Development Manager Chris Chase on what the port was seeing trade and economy-wise.
Here are a few bullet points:
- For the year, total growth is still expected to be 3%.
- May has been solid, but June and July have already looked to be negative.
- On the other hand, a rebound is anticipated in August.
- Higher fuel prices are causing shippers to get nervous.
- Vessel utilization rates continue to be below target estimates, in part due to disruptions from the Chinese new year.
- Furniture imports have been strong
- The impact from Japan has been pretty minimal.
Here’s a look at the top US exports out of the port: