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Monthly Update: Foreign Trade

September '23, latest data
Published on 11/27/23


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Trade through the Houston-area seaports—Freeport, Galveston, Houston, and Texas City—was valued at $194.4 billion through September of this year, an 8.3 percent drop from $211.9 billion over the comparable period in ’22. Exports are down $15.5 billion (12.7 percent). Imports are down $2.0 billion (2.2 percent). 


Although industrial machinery and vehicle exports are still up from ’22, the overall drop reflects the reduced value of crude, refined products, and organic chemicals shipments. Crude and refined product imports also decreased in volume, cancelling out increases in industrial and electrical machinery.


The four seaports in the metro area handled 188.4 million metric tons of cargo through September of this year, a 2.6 percent increase from the $183.6 million handled over the comparable period in ’22.  Export tonnage was up 5.8 percent; import tonnage was down 5.3 percent.

The region saw increased exports of crude and refined products, plastics, and organic chemicals, while shipments of cereals, inorganic chemicals, and beverages, spirits, and vinegar fell. 

Imports of crude and salt/sulfur slipped compared to last year while the region saw a bump in organic chemicals and iron/steel shipments.

Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Chief Economist
Senior Vice President, Research

Leta Wauson
Research Director


Foreign Trade International Business Key Economic Indicators
$194.4 billion

Houston seaports handled $194.4 billion in shipments through Sept. '23

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