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Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023

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.

“California exporters actually did rather well in the latest numbers, except for those in the aerospace sector where shipments to foreign customers took a nasty tumble,” said Jock O’Connell, a trade adviser at Beacon Economics, in a statement.

The state’s aerospace industry saw a sharp 47.5 percent year-over-year drop in May, largely the result of declines in exports to Taiwan, South Korea, and Germany, according to a Beacon Economics analysis. The sector produces finished products as well as components for both aircraft and spacecraft.

California accounted for 10.5 percent of the nation’s overall merchandise export trade. Mexico received the majority of California’s exports over the last three months, followed by Canada, China and Japan.

The state imported 18.3 percent of all U.S. merchandise.

May imports to California increased 10.3 percent to about $37.2 billion from $33.7 billion at the same time last year – a gain of 9.4 percent.

The Trump administration’s calls to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement don’t seem to have impacted cargo flow.

“Despite the uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration’s stance on trade, California’s trade flows are behaving as expected in light of current economic fundamentals,” said Robert Kleinhenz, executive director of research at Beacon Economics.

Manufacturing and trade reporter Shwanika Narayan can be reached at snarayan@labusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @shwanika.

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