Despite trade war, exports and imports were up year-over-year in May.
The Port of Oakland reported Friday that exports, primarily to Asia, were up 8.4% year-over-year. Imports were up 4.2% over last year.
The port said it handled the equivalent of 85,964 20-foot import containers in May. Exports totaled 78,070 containers.
Oakland said it has reported improved year-over-year import and export performance for three straight months, a trend that contradicts analyst warnings of trade declines in the face of an ongoing U.S.-China tariff skirmish.
“Logic tells us that at some point, tariffs should drive down cargo volumes because they’re making international trade more expensive,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “But our customers have so far defied conventional wisdom by finding new markets for their products.”
The port said its export growth centered on China’s neighbors including Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. Importers also are turning to those markets to purchase products previously sourced in China, the port added.
Oakland’s total cargo volume in May — imports, exports and empty container returns — increased 9%, the port said. The volume of empty containers shipped back to Asian markets for reuse climbed 17.5%.