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The Houston-Galveston Customs District handled 320.7 million metric tons of goods and commodities as of November ’21 year-to-date, a 3.0 percent increase over the comparable period in ’20. These shipments were valued at $246.7 billion, up 38.1 percent from ’20. This year-over-year increase was largely due to growth in value of three commodities: mineral fuels, oil, and refined products; organic chemicals; and motor vehicles and parts.
The ongoing global recovery is driving demand for Houston’s exports. Mineral fuels, Houston’s top commodity for both exports and imports, increased in export volume by 5.1 percent but declined in import volume by 8.7 percent.
Higher demand has boosted prices and lifted the overall value of fuel exports. November’s year-to-date trade value for mineral fuels was more than 40 billion dollars higher than the same period in ’20.
Exports of organic chemicals rose in volume and value as of November ’21 year-to-date. While the export volume increased by 4.0 percent, the value jumped by over 37.7. Chemical plant shutdowns due to extreme weather earlier in ’21 affected global supply and thus drove up prices.
Motor vehicles and parts increased by both value and volume compared to the same period from last year. In addition to weaker demand, temporary production shutdowns and manufacturing delays during ’20 hampered trade numbers. The ongoing semiconductor shortage has also limited supply. In ’21, consumers encouraged by the economic recovery purchased vehicles at record high prices, increasing the value of autos and their components.
Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research
Houston handled $246.7 billion of shipments year-to-date.
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