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Commentary: Coronavirus will significantly impact US container imports in March

Container imports into the 10 largest U.S. ports dropped 4.1% in January, a reprieve from December’s 12.5% decline and November’s 6.5% decline. These recent downturns are driven by China tariffs. Vagaries related to the Chinese New Year holiday make single-month comparisons in these early months less meaningful. However, broader actual measures point to a consistent downward trend. The six-month trailing numbers are down for the fifth straight month — to a 4.6% decline — and the 12-month trailing numbers are down for the ninth straight month, to a 1.8% decline.

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