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Port of Oakland August exports up 7 percent

Staff Writer |
A year-long rally in containerized export volume is gathering momentum at the port of Oakland. The port said its export volume last month jumped 7 percent over August 2015 totals.

It was the biggest year-over-year increase since a 7.1 percent rise in April.

The port said it has now increased export volumes seven times in eight months this year. Oakland’s total 2016 export volume is 8.8 percent ahead of last year’s pace.

“We’ve had solid cargo production across the board,” said Maritime Director John Driscoll. “But so far in 2016, exports are the star performers.”

The port attributed much of the export increase to a softening U.S. dollar. As the currency weakens, American exports become more affordable overseas.

The port of Oakland watches export trends closely because exports make up more than half its total cargo volume. That’s the highest ratio of any U.S. West Coast port. The port is near California’s Central Valley and most of its wine-producing areas. Oakland provides growers from those regions a gateway to markets in Asia.

The port said it’s hopeful that its run of export success will continue into the fall. Agricultural exporters are forecasting good harvests this year resulting from more plentiful rainfall last winter.

The port reported that its total cargo volume – imports, exports and empty containers – increased 1.7 percent in August. Import volume decreased 4.9 percent. Oakland’s total volume through the first eight months of 2016 is up 4.6 percent over 2015.

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