Sunday, July 19, 2009

U.S. exports are rebounding (4)


Here's an updated version of a chart I've shown before, using June data for container exports from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and goods exports through May. Things haven't bounced quite as much as I was expecting. However, I do think it's clear from this chart that the free-fall in global trade which began in the fourth quarter of last year has at the very least stopped, and has reversed to some degree. On a year over year basis, outbound LA container shipments were down only 9% in June, whereas they were down 29% last December.

29 comments:

alstry said...

Do you know the contents of the containers???

As you know, the #1 and #2 exports by container from the U.S. is trash....scrap paper and scrap metal respectively.

Ryan said...
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Cabodog said...

Alstry,

Can you take a hint? People are getting tired of your constant posts. Mr. Grannis takes an inordinate amount of time to research and post his comments; we are all very grateful for what he does and how he shares his opinions with those that care to read -- and learn.

Frankly, if I want your opinions, I'll head over to your blog and read. Quit hijacking this blog.

Oh, and to save Scott the time, I'll comment that if scrap paper and metal exports are up, that's good, as that means there's higher production and/or demand of these 'commodities' and that means the economy is picking up.

alstry said...

Kids,

Scott is a very talented economist. He plays at a much higher level than most can even hope to achive.

If Scott can't defend his positions against Alstry and Alstrynomics, clearly that would be a sad day for Economics.

That said, in addition to being an attorney, I was the CIO for a transportation company, you think I know a thing or two about the nature of U.S. exports?

alstry said...

Just to be serious for a second.

Many Economists cite Exports as an economic indicator.....but most economists don't realize that America's key export is trash.

As a percentage of container volume, trash is so high that using export container volume as an economic indicator is not much better than the contents.

FWIW, recyc papyer prices are up recently and could explain the higher volume.

The following are cites to a couple articles:

http://www.slate.com/id/2173594/

http://www.allbusiness.com/paper-packaging/paper-manufacturing-pulp-paper-paperboard/11708954-1.html

alstry said...

To be really serious,

If you notice, LA container traffic was much better than Long Beach, looking at the second link I provided, you would see that waste paper was piling up due to depressed pricing in the Winter.

Prices picked up recently which helps explain the pick up in L.A. relative to Long Beach.

Hopefully this clarifies things a bit.

Ramiro said...

alstry,

There is such a thing as sane, rational, and constructive dissent; I enjoy that. However, the constant disruptive and self-serving idiocies that you regularly offer here are...well, to be polite, tiring. I'd propose you open your own blog so that we can flock there in our quest for enlightenment. Oops, that's right. You have one. Well, we'll see you there. Or not. But I surely hope not to see you here anymore.

alstry said...

Scott,

Just a quick question to digress a bit.....

In Law and business analysis, the facts, and weight of the facts, are important in building a foundation to reaching a presentable conclusion.

And in Law, socratic discourse is encouraged when the facts are in dispute.

In Economics, do the facts matter?

I ask this question in all seriousness because I was at a dinner once and when I raised a point about mortgages to a highly regarded Economist from the Fed, he responded to me, in part, that he didn't like facts getting in the way of his theories......

Is this line of logic common among economists, and if so, is getting the right conclusion important in Economics?

Paul said...

"..in addition to being an attorney, I was the CIO for a transportation company.."


Alstry,

Did I also hear you were the first man on the moon, and also won best actress award for your role on Broadway?

Jerry said...
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Jerry said...

alstry, dissent is wonderful but what you are doing is simply operating a keyboard.

thudbear said...

alstry . . . I echo the sentiments of other recent posts. I have just visited Alstrynomics and Zomblator, your two sites. I note 1 member at Alstrynomics and none at Zombulator. It would appear the law of supply and demand, as well as visitors to this site are sending you a message: Way too much supply and zip, zero, nada demand. No doubt Scott could block your visits but that would be de classe. Get a clue!

Scott Grannis said...

alstry: your high regard for facts is just hot air. If you had done some basic due diligence, you would have discovered that paper scrap represented a mere 10% of outbound container shipments from Los Angeles in 2007, at a time when prices were sky-high. Volumes are almost certainly down today, but paper probably represents less than 10% of this year's shipments. That shipments are up significantly from year end on a seasonally adjusted basis thus implies that non-paper exports are doing quite well.

alstry said...

Scott,

I hope you understand and appreciate that my only goal is to determine the truth with this socratic discourse. Without a doubt, the majority of U.S. Exports by container volume is simply waste paper.....I am not sure where you obtained your 10% number, but I am not sure if it is valid.

Here is some more data:


America's largest exporter, in terms of volume via container, remained a company virtually unknown in the United States: American Chung Nam Inc. The Chinese company exported 211,300 containers of waste paper to its Chinese sister company, Nine Dragons Paper Industries. Its exports were one-quarter the amount of Wal-Mart's imports. American Chung Nam's cargo was worth virtually nothing in the United States.

Weyerhaeuser was the country's second largest export company, with 165,800 TEUs filled with paper. At least 10 of the 20 largest U.S. exporters shipped paper or waste paper in 2007; four others shipped bulk chemicals and one shipped scrap metal. Only one of the top 20 U.S. exporters was a U.S.-based product manufacturer: Procter & Gamble. The few remaining large U.S companies among the top 20 exporters via ocean container sold bulk chemicals, agricultural commodities or paper.

Few of America's top corporate giants were shipping manufactured goods via container to overseas markets. Mighty General Electric ranked 23rd among exporters with 41,200 container equivalents shipped. But the company imported three times that amount (112,900 containers) and was ranked 11th among importers. Caterpillar was in 27th place among exporters, behind 12 wastepaper exporters.


http://www.allbusiness.com/trade-development/international-trade-exports-imports-by/11497629-1.html

Thanks for your patience trying to get to the bottom of this....for all of our sakes.

Scott Grannis said...

alstry: read the articles you linked to. They have the data I referred to.

randy rice said...

Searching for knowledge on the internet is like hunting for diamonds in the city dump. There is so much more garbage than treasure that I think it's debatable if the general public is really better off than it was before the www. I do not disparage Alstry’s opinion. He may be George Soros in disguise, or he may be just another member of the confederacy of dunces. No matter what, it’s a shame he has chosen to hijack this blog. For my part, an easy rule is to never give much weight to anyone who hides their identity. I don't agree with all of Mr. Grannis opinions, but place a lot of value on them as context for opinions expressed by verifiably knowledgeable at other sites. It’s a shame the treasure is getting lost in the trash.

alstry said...

Scott,

Thanks again for your patience and civility....I have read the articles and could not find anything relating to export container VOLUME being only 10%.....

It was clear that paper was in a depression last Fall, but thank goodness it has improved this Spring.

Scott Grannis said...

One of the articles cited the fact that 164,000 containers of paper scrap were shipped out of the port of LA in 2007. If you check the port's statistics, they shipped a total of 1.6 million containers that year.

alstry said...

Scott,

American Chung Nam Inc. alone shipped over 200,000 containers.....

Scott Grannis said...

I am rapidly losing patience here. As the article states, "America Chung Nam ... annually exports over 211,000." That does not specify a time period, nor does it specify a port. Earlier in the article an LA port official is quoted as giving total containers of paper scrap shipped in 2007.

Your sloppy use of facts is a waste of everyone's time. I will exercise my veto power if this continues.

Jon S. said...

Scott: I've been away from your great blog for awhile and haven't read comments in an even longer time. Why not allow readers to block/hide those readers' comments they wish to? It seems you have a disruptive troll lurking.

alstry said...

Scott,

The data is per year and virtually all of Chung's scrap goes to China....you think it is reasonable to think that trash is shipping off the East Coast to China?

This is just an area I know a thing or two about.

I don't mean to upset you....I would think getting to the bottom of this would be your goal as well.

If I am wrong, I would truly appreciate you bringing the correct data to my attention.

Thanks again for your patience and hard work you put into your blog.

Scott Grannis said...

Some portion of Chung's shipments could be going out of Long Beach, couldn't they?

In any event, paper scrap represents a small fraction of container shipments. And regardless of the amount, shipments of paper scarp represent value added for someone, otherwise they would not exist at all. To dismiss the rising volume of container shipments just because 10% or so are paper scrap is a specious argument.

alstry said...
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狂猪 said...

Isn't an increase in export of scrap paper and metal in itself a bullish indicator? If there is a lower consumption and lower production, where do the increase in scraps come from?

Alstry's analysis is really simplistic and illogical.

alstry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Craig said...
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Scott Grannis said...

Note: alstry has surpassed my tolerance limit, so I will delete any of his posts that do not add value to the topic of the post.

Brian said...

Finally! We're freeeeee!!!!!

Mental image - Corporal Klinger bounding through the hills in his blue chiffon dress...