11/23/2020

News

There’s a Global Race to Control Batteries—and China Is Winning

There is a world-wide race to lock up the supply chain for cobalt, which will likely be in even greater demand as electric-car production rises. So far, China is way ahead. Chinese imports of cobalt from Congo, the world’s biggest producer of cobalt, totaled $1.2 billion in the first nine months of 2017, compared with […]

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California ports celebrate a merry Christmas

The logistics of Christmas morning are immensely complex and immensely important to California, which for decades has been the primary portal for the goods that Asia exports in huge quantities to America.

That’s especially true in Southern California, whose twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have become vital economic powerhouses since the virtual collapse of the region’s aerospace industry in the 1990s.

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California exports dip

California’s export trade dipped in October, according to a Beacon Economics’ analysis of U.S. trade statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Foreign shipments by California businesses totaled $14.82 billion for the month, a nominal 2.6 percent decline from the $15.21 billion recorded in October 2016.

The state’s exports of manufactured goods fell 4.6 percent to $8.87 billion from $9.30 billion one year earlier. Exports of non-manufactured goods (chiefly agricultural products and raw materials) ebbed slightly by 0.4 percent to $2.31 billion from $2.32 billion. Re-exports, meanwhile, rose by 1.7 percent to $3.65 billion from $3.59 billion.

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L.A., Long Beach ports adopt plan to slash air pollution and go zero-emissions

Port officials said the plan seeks to accelerate pollution reductions while remaining sensitive to the economic effects of transforming the complex, which handles about 40% of U.S. imports and support hundreds of thousands of jobs across Southern California. Though the volume of shipments moving through the L.A.-Long Beach ports has tripled since the mid-1990s, they face increasing competition from East and Gulf Coast ports, which have less stringent environmental mandates.

By adopting the plan, the ports are expecting businesses and taxpayers to foot the bill. They are also sending a signal to manufacturers that there will be demand for cleaner trucks and freight-moving equipment, and, eventually, models with no tailpipe emissions.

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How important is international trade to each US state’s economy? Pretty important for a lot of our states

How important was international trade for each US state’s economy in 2016? The map and table above help to answer that question. The table above shows GDP for each US state (data here) in 2016, the total trade volume (exports + imports, data here for merchandise trade only, data on trade in services aren’t available by state) last year, and the volume of international trade activities as a share of each state’s GDP, ranked from highest to lowest. Ignoring the District of Columbia, the average trade share for US states in 2015 was 16.7%, and ranged from a low of 4.7% for South Dakota to a high of nearly 39.0% for Michigan. The trade shares by state are also displayed graphically in the map above — the greater the share of state trade activities (exports + imports) in relation to state GDP, the darker the shade of blue.

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China’s Road to Electric-Car Domination Is Driven in Part by Batteries

Batteries have emerged as a critical front in China’s campaign to be the global leader in electric vehicles, but foreign auto makers and experts say it is rigging the market to favor domestic suppliers.

Tianjin Lishen Battery Co. here in eastern China recently agreed to sell its battery packs to Kia Motors for the EVs the South Korean company makes in China and is now in talks to supply General Motors , Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen , a supervisor for the Chinese company said.

But that is largely because Tianjin Lishen has little foreign competition.

Foreign batteries aren’t banned in China, but auto makers must use ones from a government-approved list to qualify for generous EV subsidies. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s list includes 57 manufacturers, all of them Chinese.

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The Panama Canal’s Big Bet Is Paying Off

Ships nearly three times as large as the ones crossing before the expanded locks opened in June of 2016 are bringing tens of millions of additional dollars in tolls and a trading boom to U.S. East Coast ports, allaying some fears that investments to cater to the bigger vessels wouldn’t see enough returns.

Since the start of the year, transiting tonnage at the Panama Canal has increased by nearly 23%, canal executives say. Last week marked the 2,000th transit of a ship that wouldn’t have fit through the old locks.

. . . The widened waterway means importers as far inland as Tennessee could find it cheaper to bring in Asian goods to ports like New York, Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C., rather than move them by rail and truck from West Coast ports, which handle about two-thirds of Asia-to-Americas trade.

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California exports edge upwards

California accounted for 11.4 percent of the nation’s overall merchandise export trade in August. Through the first seven months of 2017, the state’s exports are running 5.3 percent ahead of last year.

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State merchandise exports slip a bit in July

In what has been an up-and-down year, California businesses exported merchandise valued at $13.3 billion in July, down a modest 1.5 percent from shipments valued at $13.51 billion in July 2016.

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Cargo Volumes Hit Records at Long Beach, Los Angeles Ports

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which together make up the nation’s largest port complex, set new records in cargo movement last month.

The Port of Long Beach had its highest monthly cargo movement in its 106-year history in July, moving 720,312 cargo containers, known as 20-foot-equivalent units or TEUs, up 6.4 percent compared to the same period a year ago. The port beat its previous record set in August 2015.

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U.S. Trade Gap Narrows 5.9%

The U.S. trade gap narrowed sharply in June as a strengthening global economy pushes up demand for American exports overseas.

The trade deficit with other nations contracted 5.9% from a month earlier to $43.64 billion, the Commerce Department said Friday. The deficit fell because exports rose 1.2% while imports fell 0.2%. …

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California’s Imports Surge as Exports See Slight Growth

California exporters saw a modest gain in May according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. California business exports totaled about $13.5 billion – 1.2 percent increase over the May 2016 total of roughly $13.3 billion.

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New Clean Air Action Plan at the Ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles Could Cost Up to $14 Billion

The cost of cleaner air at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles could cost as much as $14 billion according to a draft action plan released by the port complexes today.

The 2017 San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) calls for cleaner trucks, improved on-dock rail infrastructure, transitioning the oldest, most polluting ships out of its fleet and speeding up the deployment of cleaner harbor craft in an attempt to transition to zero-emission trucks by 2035 and zero emission terminal equipment by 2030.

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Ports of LA, Long Beach at clean-air crossroads as they update pollution battle plan

Decision-makers from this mammoth economic hub, where countless trucks, ships and trains produce a toxic stew of pollutants, will map out specifics on reducing the diesel-dependent port’s reliance on carbon fuels. Nobody thinks it will be easy. Industry officials and truckers raise concerns about the price tag, while environmentalists push for more speed on the path to zero emissions.

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California the world’s fifth largest economy? Look out, Britain

California’s economy ranked sixth in the world in 2016, according to rankings released by Palo Alto economist Stephen Levy on Friday. That’s the same as the year before, when California overtook France and Brazil. But the state’s economy isn’t stagnating; California’s economy is growing so quickly that Levy thinks the state will overtake the United Kingdom this year for No. 5.

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