Global trade data is flat in June but should pick up in coming months, says Panjiva

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While global trade growth patterns remain intact, trade activity was mostly stuck in neutral in June, according to data released this week by Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers.

U.S.-bound waterborne shipments—at 1,124,466—were down 2 percent annually from May to June and up 2 percent annually. This is in line with seasonal activity in recent years, with a 2 percent May to June gain in 2012, a 1 percent decline in 2011 and a 2 percent gain in 2010.

Panjiva said the number of global manufacturers shipping to the U.S in June—at 174,178—was up 1 percent from May to June and up 17 percent compared to June 2012.

“June is coming off of a pretty strong April and May and is typically a flat month, being either slightly up or down,” Panjiva CEO Josh Green said. “That said, these numbers are not terribly surprising. Being flat is OK heading into back to school and the holiday shopping seasons in the second half of the year, which should translate into pretty steady gains over the next few months.”

When asked about the 17 percent annual spike in the number of global manufacturers shipping to the U.S. in June, Green said it is representative of “real growth” which began to occur around the end of 2012 and may also represent a diversification in the supply base with some manufacturers looking outside of China, too, to make sure they have sources in various places.

What’s more, aside from China, Green said sourcing activity in Southeast Asia is doing quite well, especially in some labor-intensive industries.

“We are seeing some of the higher value-add manufacturing and technology-intensive manufacturing remain in China, though, as the sourcing destination of choice,” Green said. “Part of that has to do with the capabilities built up there are so strong that it is hard to replicate those capabilities elsewhere.”

Looking at things on a domestic basis, Green said the U.S. economy is doing well as are trade flows associated with the U.S. economy, too.

“I am bullish about the holiday season, and in the medium term the real question marks will be around China and how it manages the economic challenges it is facing in the months and years ahead,” Green explained.

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Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
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Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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