Business & Real Estate

California export trade takes a dip in November

In this photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, Craig Bennett stacks bags of rice for shipment to Japan, at the Farmer's Rice Cooperative rice mill in West Sacramento, Calif.
In this photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, Craig Bennett stacks bags of rice for shipment to Japan, at the Farmer's Rice Cooperative rice mill in West Sacramento, Calif. AP

Weakening economies abroad and a strong dollar were among the factors experts cited Wednesday that put a dent in California export trade’s momentum in November, experts said Wednesday.

California businesses shipped merchandise valued at $14.89 billion in November, down about 2.2 percent from the year-ago November total of $15.22 billion, according to Beacon Economics, the consulting firm that breaks down California’s export totals from U.S. Commerce Department figures.

“In these numbers, we see the mingled effects of a strong dollar (making U.S. goods more costly for buyers abroad), weak overseas demand, a prolonged drought and congestion at the state’s major seaports,” said Jock O’Connell, Beacon’s international trade adviser.

Beacon said exports of manufactured goods declined 2.8 percent, from $9.63 billion to $9.36 billion, year over year. Shipments of non-manufactured goods – chiefly agricultural produce and raw materials – fell about 12.5 percent, from $2.45 billion to $2.14 billion. Re-exports meanwhile rose nearly 8 percent, from $3.14 billion to $3.38 billion.

Despite November’s dip, California remains on track to break last year’s all-time record for exports, $168.13 billion, in a calendar year. Beacon said shipments through November this year had a value of $159.4 billion, 3.8 percent ahead of $153.53 billion amassed in the year-ago period.

Call The Bee’s Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.

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