05/09/2021

Reports » Trade Reports

California Trade Report for March 2021

Below are highlights from the recently released trade data from the US Census Bureau and US Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Although conditions are now easing, the West Coast ports continued to be swamped in March by the surge in imports as companies sought to rebuild inventories and as consumer demand for a broader range of products resumes. Pacific Merchant Shipping Association reports the number of containers handled by Port of Los Angeles was up 122.5% from the same month a year ago, and up 74.0% at Port of Long Beach and 30.5% at Port of Oakland. From the Census data, the value of containerized imports handled by Los Angeles ($21.3 billion) was 74% above number two Newark, NJ ($12.2 billion). Exports were a different matter. Los Angeles ($2.23 billion) ranked number four in the value of containerized exports, behind Houston ($2.72 billion), New York ($2.67 billion), and Norfolk-Newport News ($2.52 billion). Number six Long Beach ($2.16 billion) came in just behind Savannah, GA ($2.18 billion).

 

 

Share of Goods through US Ports

18.3%
CA Share Of Total Trade
Through US Ports

The share of total US goods trade (exports and imports) through California ports edged up to 18.28% (12 month moving average; compared to 18.15% in February 2021 and 17.23% in March 2020).

California remained the #1 state, ahead of Texas with 16.63% (compared to 16.70% in February 2021 and 18.06% in March 2020). Trade through the Atlantic port states was at 30.73% (compared to 30.71% in February 2021 and 29.86% in March 2020). The state’s continued lead in this area forms the trade-related base for one of California’s largest centers of middle-class, blue-collar jobs. Transportation & Warehousing alone provided 698,400 jobs in March, up from 688,900 in March 2020.

California Goods Exports Increase

$1.3
Billion Change In Exports

Total California goods exports rose $1.3 billion from March 2020 (up 9.3%), reaching their highest level since the pandemic began. California remained in 2nd place with 10.84% of all US goods exports (12 month moving total), behind Texas at 19.27%.

 

California's Balance for Goods Trade

-$23.4
Billion Of Goods Trade

California’s balance of goods trade activity through state businesses broadened to -$23.4 billion, compared to a level of -$15.2 billion in March 2020. California trade accounted for 27% of the US trade deficit in goods in March 2021.

 

Top 20 Exports, March 2021

Top 20 exports by value are shown below, along with the change from March 2020.

By shipping weight (vessel and air total), the leading export was Waste & Scrap at 0.8 billion kg (40% of total exports), followed by Fruits & Tree Nuts at 0.2 billion kg (12%), and Other Agricultural Products at 0.2 billion kg (10%).

Commodity March 2021 Exports ($b.) Change from March 2020
Semiconductors & Other Electronic Components $0.9 3.9%
Fruits & Tree Nuts 0.9 -1.4%
Navigational/measuring/medical/control Instrument 0.9 14.2%
Industrial Machinery 0.9 30.2%
Computer Equipment 0.8 5.3%
Pharmaceuticals & Medicines 0.8 25.1%
Waste & Scrap 0.7 75.7%
Miscellaneous Manufactured Commodities 0.7 56.2%
Communications Equipment 0.6 8.9%
Medical Equipment & Supplies 0.5 8.2%
Aerospace Products & Parts 0.5 -23.2%
Electrical Equipment & Components, Nesoi 0.3 0.8%
Used or Second-hand Merchandise 0.3 8.5%
Other General Purpose Machinery 0.3 3.7%
Basic Chemicals 0.3 7.2%
Foods, Nesoi 0.2 3.6%
Plastics Products 0.2 10.6%
Commercial & Service Industry Machinery 0.2 12.6%
Petroleum & Coal Products 0.2 -45.1%
Motor Vehicle Parts 0.2 5.9%

 

Top 10 Export Markets, March 2021

Country March 2021 Exports ($b) Change from March 2020
Mexico $2.4 8.7%
Canada 1.6 2.3%
China 1.4 17.7%
Korea, South 1.0 13.0%
Germany 0.9 34.7%
Japan 0.9 -10.1%
Taiwan 0.7 11.9%
India 0.6 48.8%
Hong Kong 0.6 6.4%
Netherlands 0.5 12.4%