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The Houston-Galveston Customs District handled 126.3 million metric tons of goods and commodities in the first five months of ’19, a 5.0 percent increase over ’18. These shipments were valued at $95.9 billion, up 2.8 percent from ’18.
Houston ranked first in tonnage and sixth in value among U.S. customs districts during the first five 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 202 countries and imported from 179 during the first five months of ’19. Mexico remains the region’s top trading partner, followed by China, Brazil, India and the Netherlands. Even Vanuatu, a South Pacific Ocean nation, and the Marshall Islands received cargoes shipped from Houston this year.
Houston became a net exporter late in ’13. Compared to the first five months of ’18, exports increased in both volume and value in ’19, driving the increase in overall value and weight. Imports remained unchanged in value but slipped 10.4 percent in weight.
During the first five 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 82.2 percent of all exports by value, were crude and refined products, chemicals, industrial machinery, plastics and motor vehicles. The top five imports, accounting for 61.7 percent of all imports by value, were crude and refined products, industrial machinery, iron and steel, motor vehicles and electric machinery.
Melissa Verhoef, PhD
Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research
Houston handled $95.9 billion of shipments in the first 5 months of '19