By: Stephen Jackson
It is incredible to see the impact that a single storm can make on an area. What might be just as impressive is the immediate effect it can have on Trade. It will inevitably take some time before we know the cost on exports and imports from Hurricane Sandy in the affected regions however, statistics give us some insight as to what we could see. By looking into the impact the trade community saw after Hurricane Katrina hit the Southeast in late August of 2005, we can see what history says about how a storm can have an immediate effect on trade.
Using USA Trade Online, we are able to look into exports and imports down to the Port Level data. This data can be a very useful to exporters when determining the impact a storm or other large events can have on an identified area. In this case, I decided to look at Port data for New Orleans, LA (District) before and after Katrina hit. I captured data for the months of July, August, September and October on export and imports.
Both exports and imports saw the immediate impact that Katrina had on the coast of Louisiana. Exports went from $2.51 billion reported in August, to $2.02 billion reported in September. A change of just under $500 million, seen mostly from the loss of $575 million in vessel shipments alone. These trends were followed closely by the import numbers that showed a change from $7.42 billion reported in August, to $6.86 billion in September. This decrease of $564 million was seen mostly from a $556 million loss in import shipments using vessel as their mode of transportation.
Exports and imports saw a significant increase in the month of October, with exports up to $2.64 billion and imports up to $8.82 billion. This dramatic increase of $1.96 billion in October for imports came almost entirely from vessel shipments.
It will be interesting to see the impact that Sandy has on the Northeast and how that directly impacts the trade for that region. What we have learned from Katrina is there will be an immediate impact on exports and imports. Continue to keep an eye on the Trade Numbers for the affected ports by registering for a free trial to USATradeOnline today.
Also, check out the Director’s Blog ‘ What the Census Bureau Can Tell You About Some of the Communities Affected by Hurricane Sandy’ that discusses some other statistics that the Census Bureau looks at in regards to Hurricane Sandy.