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Maersk leads Q3 container downturn; Trump's olive branch for Italy

The Supply Chain Daily provides a curated overview of Panjiva's research and insights covering global trade policy, the logistics sector and industrial supply chains and draws from global shipping and freight data.

Maersk's market share slips in Q3, loses ground to Evergreen, Hapag-Lloyd
The container lines operating U.S.-inbound services had a tough third quarter, with volumes up by just 1.2% year over year. That followed a lackluster 1.7% rise in the previous quarter. The U.S.-China trade war is mostly to blame.

A.P. Møller - Mærsk A/S was one of the worst performers with a 5.2% slide in U.S.-inbound shipments from all origins in the third quarter, reversing a 7.0% improvement in the second quarter. It may have lost out to Evergreen Marine Corporation (Taiwan) Ltd. and Hapag-Lloyd AG, which saw growth of 5.1% and 4.7%, respectively, in the third quarter, slowing from the previous quarter for both companies.

Maersk's downturn may be due to a desire to maintain profit margins over market share. The Danish-domiciled liner's U.S.-inbound volumes from China fell 14.3% in the third quarter, which was only partly offset by a 14.4% rise in shipments from Asia excluding China.

(Panjiva Research - Logistics)

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Trump's olive branch for Italy could help Chianti, Parmesan exports
U.S. President Donald Trump has held up the prospect of "looking very strongly" at reducing the tariff burden faced by Italy from recent aerospace-related retaliatory duties. The Italian government may be keen to secure anything that can boost exports following a lackluster 2.5% drop in the second quarter and growth of just 1.9% in July.

Total U.S. trade with Italy reached $80.9 billion in the past 12 months, though the trade imbalance of $33.1 billion means the Italian government will need to increase imports as well as avoid tariffs to boost growth. Italy face tariffs on $2.89 billion of exports under the new tariff program, led by $1.50 billion of wine as well as cheese and olive oil.

There has been a degree of stockpiling already. Seaborne imports of wine, including those by Cavit s.c., climbed 26.8% year over year in September while cheese shipped by Emmi AG and Zanetti SpA, among others, jumped 78.7%.

(Panjiva Research - Policy)

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Mattel buzzing, Hasbro makes most of Marvel as toy import season starts
Competition between toy retailers is heating up with Target Corp. launching new in-store Disney franchises, Walmart Inc. revamping its digital presence and Toys R Us Inc. relaunching online. U.S. seaborne toy imports climbed 13.1% year over year in September, potentially reflecting a desire to beat forthcoming tariffs on Chinese exports as well as meeting anticipated demand.

At the brand level, Toy Story did best in terms of imports, with third-quarter imports rising by 3.5x the level seen a year earlier. The Marvel franchise has also seen a rise in shipments following the Avengers and Captain Marvel films with a 48.3% surge. Star Wars-related products have also increased by 34.3%, likely ahead of the final main sequence film "The Rise of Skywalker."

The improvement in Marvel shipments may have helped a 9.1% gain in shipments linked to Hasbro Inc., though that's been offset in part by a reversal from Disney-brand products more broadly. Mattel Inc. may have been even more ambitious with a 27.8% surge in shipments linked to Toy Story as well as improved shipments of the Fisher Price brand.

(Panjiva Research - Consumer Discretionary)

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Nissan, Qurate shop for leniency as tariff exemption window closes
The window for requesting exemptions from "list 3" U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports closed Sept. 30 with 30,330 submissions made. Of the total, 38.0% relate to electrical machinery, 10.2% to mechanical equipment and 9.1% to furniture. Within electrical machinery, the largest subcategory was ignition systems with 28.3% of requests and electrical generators with 13.2%.

The total submission figures are somewhat flattered by a single company, Arrowhead Electrical Products, which has complained about its competitors using transshipments via Canada and Mexico and which accounted for 10,221 requests alone.

Other companies with a significant number of applications include Airxcel, Inc.'s RV Products with 160 requests. The firm appears to have few choices — all U.S. seaborne imports associated with the firm came from China and jumped 88.7% year over year in the third quarter.

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. made 50 exemption requests, and may have actually increased its shipments from China by 10.8% in the third quarter while cutting imports from Japan and Mexico.

Retailer Qurate Retail Inc.'s HSN division has made a wide range of applications with 237 requests covering electronics, home goods and apparel accessories. Unlike the others, HSN cut its imports from China by 35.9% in the third quarter.

(Panjiva Research - Policy)

Pernod Ricard's tariff rush could become pricing hangover
Pernod Ricard SA CFO Hélène de Tissot has stated that "advanced shipments anticipating the risk of tariffs" on EU exports by the U.S. by wholesalers boosted growth in the firm's U.S. shipments to 6% from the usual 4% in the latest quarter. CEO Alexandre Ricard expects price increases to be necessary to pass through the tariffs on wine and spirits — linked to an aerospace trade dispute.

Total EU exports of wine to the U.S. have shown little sign of stockpiling, with a 1.5% year-over-year drop in shipments in August. Shipments of whiskey and niche liqueurs on the other hand jumped 33.2% and 19.3%, respectively, suggesting significant inventory build.

Panjiva data shows that U.S. seaborne imports of wine from the U.K. and Ireland associated with Pernod Ricard specifically may have fallen 23.1% and 16.7%, respectively, year over year in September. A 114% and 360% surge in Pernod-linked shipments from Spain and France suggests a rise in wine tariffs may not have been expected.

(Panjiva Research - Food & Beverages)

Christopher Rogers is a senior researcher at Panjiva, which is a business line of S&P Global Market Intelligence, a division of S&P Global Inc. This content does not constitute investment advice, and the views and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The Supply Chain Daily has an editorial deadline of 5:30 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current at the time of publication. S&P Global Market Intelligence is not responsible if those links are unavailable later.