China’s Trade Deficit – China experienced its first quarterly trade deficit in seven years during Q1 of this year. That being said, the country is still expected to have a trade surplus in the neighborhood of $250 billion by year’s end. A weak February and rising commodity prices led the slow start.
Read more from the WSJ.
Container Imports Rise for 15th Straight Month – U.S. containerized imports are expected to rise 9% in April over the same month last year. This would mark the 15th straight month of increases in the trade. The National Retail Federation sees this trend as an important indicator in economic recovery.
Read more from the JOC.
The Containership Company Discontinues Service – One year after the Containership Company (TCC) launched its niche trans-pacific service, the carrier has decided to halt their current operations. TCC plans to shifts its focus to the vessel chartering business. Previous to the announcement, the company offered service between Taicang, Ningbo, Qingdao, and Los Angeles.
Read more from IFW.
Fukushima Evacuation Zone Expands – Japanese officials announced plans to this week expand the existing 20 km evacuation zone surrounding the nuclear power plant. The evacuation will take place over a period of one month. Because of ongoing power shortages, companies like the electronics manufacturer Sony are considering temporary factory shutdowns to conserve energy.