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Research - FEBRUARY 13, 2020

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February retail imports to see larger drop amid coronavirus

by Andrea Zander

With coronavirus causing longer Lunar New Year shutdowns of factories in China, imports at major U.S. retail container ports are expected to see a sharper-than-usual drop this month, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“February is historically a slow month for imports because of Lunar New Year and the lull between retailers’ holiday season and summer, but this is an unusual situation,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy. “Many Chinese factories have already stayed closed longer than usual, and we don’t know how soon they will reopen. U.S. retailers were already beginning to shift some sourcing to other countries because of the trade war, but if shutdowns continue, we could see an impact on supply chains.

“Projecting container volume for the next year has become even more challenging with the outbreak of the coronavirus in China and its s

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