Containerized export volume at the Port of Oakland increased in the first half of 2019 thanks to China's neighbors. Port data released today showed double-digit export volume percentage increases through June 30 to South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Trade with those three nations alone offset a 17% drop in exports to China, a port spokesperson said.
Exports to China have dropped by the equivalent of 14,000 TEUs this year, the spokesperson said; China is Oakland’s largest trading partner. On the other hand, shipments to South Korea are up 10,000 TEUs; Japan, 7,000; and Taiwan, 3,000.
The trade numbers indicate that Oakland exporters are countering the effects of Chinese tariffs imposed on U.S. shipments. The result: Oakland exports have increased year-over-year in each of the past four months. For all of 2019, export shipments are up 2.4% over the first six months of last year.
“This is testament to the resilience and ingenuity of our customers,” said Port of Oakland maritime director John Driscoll. “They’re finding the means to overcome debilitating trade barriers.”
Scrap paper exports to Asia have declined 34% in 2019, the spokesperson said, due mainly to tighter Chinese restrictions on waste product shipments. The big 2019 gainers among Oakland export commodities: agricultural products including almonds, meat, oranges and hay.