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US retail imports to increase ahead of goods tariff increase: NRF

THE Global Port Tracker from the National Retail Federation (NRF) says that with retail sales rising and more tariffs on goods from China expected, imports to US will increase to high levels through the summer

US retail imports to increase ahead of goods tariff increase: NRF

THE Global Port Tracker from the National Retail Federation (NRF) says that with retail sales rising and more tariffs on goods from China expected, imports to US will increase to high levels through the summer

22 May 2019 - 19:00

THE Global Port Tracker from the National Retail Federation (NRF) says that with retail sales rising and more tariffs on goods from China expected, imports to US will increase to high levels through the summer.

The rush to bring merchandise into the country that was seen through much of last year slowed down after Mr Trump postponed a tariff hike from January to March and then put it on hold indefinitely as trade talks with China showed signs of progress.



However, the US President said that 10 per cent tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods will rise to 25 per cent from May 10, and that he plans to impose new 25 per cent tariffs on most remaining Chinese goods at an unspecified date.



'Much of this is driven by consumer demand but retailers are likely to resume stocking up merchandise before new tariffs can take effect,' said NRF vice president Jonathan Gold.



'Tariff increases will mean higher costs for US businesses, higher prices for American consumers and lost jobs for many American workers. 'We encourage the administration to stay focused on a trade agreement, and we hope the negotiations will get back on track. It would be unfortunate to undermine the progress that has been made with more tit-for-tat tariffs that only punish Americans,' said Mr Gold.



US ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.61 million TEU in March, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was down 0.6 per cent from February but up 4.4 per cent year over year.



April was estimated at 1.76 million TEU, up 7.7 per cent year over year. May is forecast at 1.9 million TEU, up 4.2 per cent; June at 1.92 million TEU, up 3.7 per cent; July at 1.96 million TEU, up 3 per cent; August at 1.98 million TEU, up 4.6 per cent, and September at 1.91 million, up 2 per cent.



Imports have never before hit the 1.9 million TEU mark earlier than July. And the August number would be the highest monthly total since the record 2 million TEU record set last October.



The first half of 2019 is expected to total 10.7 million TEU, up 3.9 per cent over the first half of 2018, reports Fibre2Fashion of Bhopal, India.


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