Drewry: Europe no substitute for China

Exports from Europe to the U.S. are expected to show robust growth this year, but that could change if the U.S. follows through on tariff threats.

Drewry: Europe no substitute for China

Exports from Europe to the U.S. are expected to show robust growth this year, but that could change if the U.S. follows through on tariff threats.

Drewry: Europe no substitute for China

Exports from Europe to the U.S. are expected to show robust growth this year, but that could change if the U.S. follows through on tariff threats.

 

   Drewry says that while “it is tempting to suggest that European exporters are benefiting from trade substitution resulting from the additional tariffs being imposed in the China-U.S. market,” the different sorts of products made in Europe mean that “it is not a perfect alternative to China for U.S. consumers.”
    The London-based consultants noted that westbound transatlantic volumes were up 4.5% in 2018 and 5.9% in the first five months of 2019 and “will continue to show robust health for the rest of the year, although that could change if and when the U.S. follows through on tariff threats.”
    American buyers are taking advantage of cheaper prices in Europe resulting from the strength of the dollar against the euro, but in its Container Insight Weekly Drewry said that “North Europe is not an obvious alternative to China for commodities such as clothing, footwear, toys, electrical goods, furniture and other household items.
    “President Trump’s trade policies are casting a pall over Europe’s economies,” Drewry said. “His aggressive crusade to protect American interests has been particularly hard on Germany, Europe’s largest economy, which has been bracing itself for a decision about whether Washington will impose tariffs on motor vehicle imports.”

   Drewry said manufacturers have been increasing their inventories “just in case Trump turns his guns on Europe. Certainly the North American carmakers are taking extra precautions.”
    Car parts move in large quantity from Europe to the U.S., and Drewry pointed to strong demand for luxury sport utility vehicles such as BMW’s X7 model, assembled in Spartanburg, S.C., where it said output is expected to increase from 356,750 units in 2018 to 400,000 in 2019, “generating additional volumes of parts from Europe.”
    It also said that American importers and retailers have been increasing their stock levels of a wide range of goods — luggage, mattresses, cleaning products, sporting goods, camping equipment, shoes, clothing and consumer electronics — as there is some expectation that Americans may well be persuaded to buy ahead before inevitable price rises take effect.
    Drewry said cargo moving from the U.K. to the U.S. has been up by more than 10% this year. “Commodities in most demand have been whiskey, gin, beer, salmon, chocolate, cheese and confectionary. The strength of this particular market is likely to have been fueled by U.S. importers wishing to avoid any disruption from Brexit, which was due to take place at the end of March.”
    German chemical shipments also have increased because of a backload of orders that developed when low water levels restricted Rhine River barge traffic. Drewry said, “Levels at most locations are now back to normal for the time of year.”
   In the eastbound transatlantic trade, volumes are up 5.3%, but Drewry said most of the growth “occurred in January (+26%), one of those freak months the trade occasionally experiences with large orders for farm produce, timber products or resins or all three combined. Since then, the trade has seen negative comparisons in February and April, punctuated by a modest 4.4% rise in March.”
    Looking forward it said that “demand growth will struggle to stay much above 1% for the rest of the year. The dollar is unlikely to lose much value, but the more central problem is that European consumers are not currently in the mood to increase their spending given the gloomier economic outlook and unresolved Brexit issue.”

One must wonder who the Trump administration is trying to punish with its growing enthusiasm for tariffs. The tariffs are offsetting much of the savings from tax cuts, and if this continues there could be tough months ahead.

Seven container liner shipping companies deploy capacity on the India Subcontinent to North America (US/CA) trade, with Maersk Line deploying the most capacity each week towards the trade, according to BlueWater Reporting’s Carrier/Trade Route Deployment Report.

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Drewry: Europe no substitute for China

Exports from Europe to the U.S. are expected to show robust growth this year, but that could change if the U.S. follows through on tariff threats.

Jul 09, 2019 on Dec 27, 2018AmericanShipper.com

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Drewry: Europe no substitute for China

Exports from Europe to the U.S. are expected to show robust growth this year, but that could change if the U.S. follows through on tariff threats.

Jul 09, 2019 on Dec 27, 2018AmericanShipper.com