Chinese imports to US dropping faster than total imports: report

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Chinese imports to the United States in recent months have been dropping faster than total imports, highlighting a major trend in the global reconfiguration of supply chains that has been steadily underway for years. 

Chinese imports to the United States dropped more than 5% between September and October, FreightWaves reported. By contrast, total imports to the United States were essentially flat during that same timeframe, at around 0.2%. 

FILE: Employees check a batch of eyewear products exported overseas at Anhui Maisi Optical Technology Development Co LTD in Anqing city, Anhui province, China, Nov 16, 2022.  (CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images / Getty Images)

In August, Chinese products accounted for around 40% of all U.S. imports. But in October, Chinese share of U.S. imports was down to slightly more than a third.  

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This trend has been underway for years. With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the war between Ukraine and Russia, businesses have been reconfiguring their supply chains closer to home. 

Paul Bingham, director of transportation consulting at S&P Global, told American Shipper in October that recent events have "added urgency and attention to this strategy – that at a minimum, companies need to diversity supply chains even if they’re not going to abandon China altogether." 

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Other countries, including Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, among others, have filled in the gap from the decline in Chinese imports, according to Descartes. 

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