JOC Insights by Mario Moreno: U.S. Computer Imports
Published:20 May 2015 01:05:38 PST
U.S. COMPUTERS IMPORTS TO REVERSE DOWNWARD TREND IN 2015
U.S. imports of computers by dollar value declined 2.7 percent in 2013 as real growth in disposable income per capita remained stagnant for the year. In the first quarter of 2014, imports declined 8.5 percent year-over-year after edging up 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. For all of 2014, I am projecting a contraction of 4.1 percent. The downward trend will not reverse until 2015 when imports will have rebounded by 3.7 percent and totaled approximately $81.5 billion.
VIETNAM GAINING SIGNIFICANT SHARE OF U.S. COMPUTERS IMPORTS
As measured by dollar value, China is the largest supplier of computers to the U.S., holding 65.9 percent of the market in 2013, up 0.9 percentage point from 2012. However, imports from China are now declining, possibly linked to increased competition from other computer manufacturing countries, and currency appreciation. The yuan appreciated 2.6 percent against the U.S. dollar last year and is up 25 percent since 2005.
Global competition in the sector has markedly increased, as well. Vietnam, for instance, increased its sourcing share of 0.2 percent held in 2012 to 1.5 percent in 2013. That was a significant jump for Vietnam, whose computer shipments to the U.S. jumped 383 and 779 percent in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Year-to-date through April, computer imports from Vietnam were up 185 percent, while those from China were down 10 percent. It appears then that the global industry's continued development prompted the leading manufacturers to diversify production facilities in Asia, finding Vietnam to be a cost-effective location.
PORT OF LOS ANGELES HANDLED MOST INBOUND TRAFFIC OF COMPUTERS IN 2013
In 2013, Port of Los Angeles handled 46 percent of all computer import traffic via ocean container, down 1 percent from 2012, while the Port of Long Beach handled 35 percent of all computer imports, down 2 percentage points from 2012. The Port of New York and New Jersey handled 4 percent of all computer imports traffic, up 1 percentage point from 2012.
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