From TI Providers: Thailand Flood, High-End Gifts, Pirates & Barbie

From Datamyne: Here’s the Beef. Cattle outnumber people more than 3 to 1 in Uruguay.  That’s because Uruguay, a country with just 3.3 million people but nearly 11 million cattle, is one of the world’s leading beef exporters.  But the US is a relatively small market for Uruguayan beef. Russia has the biggest appetite by far, buying $288 million of frozen beef, compared with $56 million for the US, out of $862 million in total exports during the first 11 months of 2011. Uruguay notched another $280 million in exports of fresh or chilled beef with the US buying $12 million. In addition, the US bought $41 million of cooked beef, for a combined total $111 million, nearly half of the $228 million in total imports from Uruguay, according to Datamyne statistics.
From PIERS: A Deluge of Challenges in Thailand.  Since October 4, historic flooding in Thailand has been responsible for a ripple effect of problems in the Asia-Pacific supply chain. In a recent article for The Journal of Commerce (JOC), PIERS data showed the percent change in containerized trade drastically declining in a number of areas from 2010 to 2011. With these numbers in the red, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s estimate that losses from natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific region could surpass $200 billion this year, experts in the industry are questioning the reliance on Thailand for everything from auto parts to microchips.

From Panjiva: 2011 Holiday Trade Trends – Fewer Expensive Gifts on Shelves. In early November, we took a look at imports of toys into the US and noticed an interesting trend:  overall imports were down by 9.8% year over year.  Another look at our data showed that some categories of high-end gifts were even further off 2010 levels showing retailer’s anticipation of conservative consumer spending this holiday season.

From Global Edge: Pirates Do Exist. Most people view pirates as bandits dressed in funny outfits who sail around the world stealing treasure and stashing it on small, hidden islands. This may be a fun way to imagine the world, but modern day pirates are a real concern for shipping companies. Instead of stealing golden treasure, pirates commandeer ships with precious cargo and demand large ransoms from their owners. Chevron was the target of a recent attack off the coast of Nigeria. These attacks, mainly carried out by Somali pirates and outlaws from countries with dysfunctional government regimes, are costing the global shipping industry more than $9 billion each year through higher shipping costs and ransom payments.

Another from Panjiva: 2011 Holiday Trade Trends – Barbie Reigns (again). As we’ve tracked a decrease in shipments of high-end items like cashmere sweaters and video game consols, we’ve tracked an increase in shipments of less expensive, classic children’s toys.  This season, shipments of Barbie dolls have been 17% higher than shipments in the 2010 season.  One influence is retailers importing fewer toys overall – see the 9.8% decrease in shipments reported in our previous post –  and the toys they are importing this year are known, classic toys that they’re confident they can sell this holiday season.

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