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Monthly Update: Foreign Trade

November '19
Published on 1/10/20
Monthly Update: Foreign Trade

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The Houston-Galveston Customs District handled 289.1 million metric tons of goods and commodities in the first 11 months of ’19, an 9.8 percent increase over the comparable period in ’18. These shipments were valued at $215.5 billion, up 0.3 percent from ’18. 

Houston ranked first in tonnage and sixth in value among U.S. customs districts during the first 11 months of ’19. Houston and New Orleans have been the busiest two districts in tonnage for decades. Houston has held the top spot in seven of the past 10 years. 

Houston exported to 210 countries and imported from 191 during the first 11 months of ’19. Mexico remains the region’s top trading partner, followed by Brazil, China, South Korea and the Netherlands. Even Kiribati, a country in the central Pacific Ocean, and the Marshall Islands received cargoes shipped from Houston this year. 

Compared to the first 11 months of ’18, exports increased in both volume and value in ’19, driving the increase in overall value and weight. Imports decreased by 8.1 percent in value and slipped 11.7 percent in weight. 

During the first 11 months of ’19, the district handled goods and commodities from 97 trade categories―everything from gasoline to live animals to cork. The top five exports, accounting for 82.6 percent of all exports by value, were crude and refined products, organic chemicals, industrial machinery, plastics and motor vehicles. The top five imports, accounting for 60.9 percent of all imports by value, were crude and refined products, industrial machinery, iron and steel, motor vehicles and electric machinery.    

Berina Suljic Cologlu
Analyst, Research

Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research


Key Economic Indicators Foreign Trade International Business
$215.5 billion

Houston handled $215.5 billion of shipments year-to-date.

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