US Trade Deficit Hits Record High In February

US Trade Deficit Hits Record High In February

After the 2018-2019 rebound in the US Trade Balance to a three year low (as Trump ‘adjusted’ US-China’s relationship), the trade deficit has surged from the start of the pandemic to the latest data in February, at $71.1 billion – the largest trade deficit in US history (from a revised $67.8 billion a month earlier). This was slightly worse than the expected $70.5 billion deficit.

Source: Bloomberg

A decline in exports exceeded a drop in the value of imports during the month as severe winter weather disrupted two-way trade.

  • Imports fell 0.7% in Feb. to $258.33b from $260.06b in Jan.

  • Exports fell 2.6% in Feb. to $187.25b from $192.23b in Jan.

Interestingly, the US trade balance for petroleum products fell back into deficit in February after being in surplus (a net exporter) since Feb 2020…

Source: Bloomberg

Specific country highlights include:

The deficit with China increased $3.1 billion to $30.3 billion in February.

Exports decreased $4.5 billion to $10.4 billion and imports decreased $1.5 billion to $40.6 billion.

Source: Bloomberg

The deficit with Canada increased $2.2 billion to $4.0 billion in February.

Exports decreased $0.5 billion to $23.7 billion and imports increased $1.7 billion to $27.7 billion.

The deficit with Mexico decreased $5.1 billion to $6.8 billion in February.

Exports increased $2.1 billion to $22.8 billion and imports decreased $3.0 billion to $29.6 billion.

Merchandise imports have been pouring into the nation’s ports, leading to shipping container shortages that have driven up freight rates and left domestic producers scrambling at a time when inventories are lean.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 04/07/2021 – 08:38

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