Mario O. Moreno, economist for The Journal of Commerce, said: "Imports are being affected by the economy and the impact of rising prices on consumer demand, but the global rebound in manufacturing and the weak dollar are making this a very strong year for exports."
Working with ocean container shipping figures from PIERS, a sister company of The Journal of Commerce, Moreno lowered his growth forecast for imports this year to 4.6% from the 6.7% he predicted three months ago. He raised his forecast for export growth to 10% from 8.3%.
According to the figures, Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, held its number one position on the Top 100 Importers list, shipping nearly 700,000 20-foot-equivalent units of containerised cargo in 2010, outpacing Target — in the No. 2 spot with 455,500 TEUs — by more than 50%.
Walmart’s low 1.8% year-over-year growth is partly due to supply chain innovation and packaging efficiency, reports the JOC, along with tighter inventory control.
Wastepaper was at the forefront of exports as America Chung Nam held at No. 1, with a 16 % jump to 300,800 TEUs, and International Paper jumped to No. 2. America The report noted that Chung Nam also acts as an unofficial indicator of import demand due to its supply to sister company Nine Dragons Paper Industries, a high-volume supplier of containerboard for shipping to manufacturers in China.