March Trade Data: Slow But Steady Improvement

  • By Josh Green
  • · April 13, 2010
  • ·

The word from the Panjiva research team: global trade activity picked up slightly in March. Specifically, there was a 3% increase in the number of global manufacturers shipping to the U.S. market, as well as a 6% increase in the number of U.S. companies receiving waterborne shipments from global manufacturers.

Panjiva Trade Data - March

Further evidence that cautious optimism is warranted:

  • The percentage of significant manufacturers on the Panjiva Watch List fell to its lowest level yet, down 1% from February to 18% this month.
  • The percentage of significant buyers having done business with a Panjiva Watch List supplier in the preceding three months declined further from 27% to 25%.
  • The number of waterborne shipments coming into the U.S. in March increased 1% from February — and is up 15% year-over-year.

Bottom line: U.S. imports are following their seasonal path — and perhaps even growing a bit — suggesting that an economic recovery may be taking hold.

Methodological notes for the data junkies:

  • Manufacturers that have suffered a 50% or greater decline in volume shipped to American customers in the most recent three month period, versus the same period a year ago, are on the Panjiva Watch List.
  • “Significant manufacturers” are companies that have sent 10 or more shipments to American customers within the last year. As of the end of March , there were 88,921 significant manufacturers.
  • “Significant buyers” are U.S. companies that have received 10 or more shipments from overseas manufacturers within the last year. As of the end of March , there were 76,724 significant buyers.

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