Building materials help boost U.S. exports

U.S. containerized exports rose 9.6% in February in year-over-year figures, with the total February volume estimated at 1,014,176 TEUs Strong gains in building materials, paper and paperboard, and refrigerated foods were helped by the depreciation of the U.S. dollar, according to an analysis by The Journal of Commerce/PIERS.

In terms of TEUs, paper and paperboard showed the greatest gains, but building materials grew by 280%  over January 2012.  

"The foreign exchange value of the U.S. dollar against a broad basket of currencies was down on January 31 by 2% over the value of Dec. 30, 2011," said Mario Moreno, economist for The Journal of Commerce/PIERS. "Manufacturing activity in China has been in contraction for four consecutive months, yet U.S. exports of key raw materials such as paper and paperboard and raw cotton increased sharply, suggesting factory output will rebound soon."

Northeast Asia held its position as the top destination for U.S. containerized exports, growing 12% year-over-year, accounting for 45.3% of total export volume. Exports to the Caribbean climbed 49% and shipments to North Europe rebounded at 19%. Mediterranean volumes, however, fell 18%.