By: Joe Kafchinski
March 2010 exports are up $25.0 billion (20.4%) and imports are up $36. 6 billion (24.2%) compared with March 2009.
Things to watch:
There were two major disasters in April that could threaten U.S. trading patterns. The first was the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano in mid-April, which closed down nearly all air travel in Europe for a time and is still causing airport closures now. The second is the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on April 22nd.
The Census Bureau won’t be releasing trade data for April until June 10th, but we can get an idea of what the impact might be by looking at the current statistics. In 2009, roughly half of total U.S. trade with the European Union traveled by air – $250.6 billion of $502.1 billion. Through March 2010 the ratio is similar – of
$143.7 billion in trade with the E.U., $70.4 billion was by air. The most commonly traded goods by air between the U.S. and European Union are pharmaceutical preparations: $68.4 billion in 2009, of which $24.1 billion was exported from the U.S. to the European Union and $44.2 billion traveled the other direction.
From January 2008 to March 2010, an average of $9.3 billion of goods were exported or imported by vessel through the New Orleans Customs district. In 2009, New Orleans was the fourth largest district for vessel exports ($33.2 billion) and also fourth-largest for vessel imports ($51.2 billion). The top exports through New Orleans are soybeans and corn. The top import is, of course, crude oil.
Remember to check the April 2010 statistics on June 10th to see what affect these incidents may have had on U.S. trade.
Trade by method of transportation and by Customs district can be found in the FT920: U.S. Merchandise Trade Selected Highlights.