Love’s Not On The Sea as Valentine’s Imports Drop — Panjiva
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Love’s Not On The Sea as Valentine’s Imports Drop

Cons. Staples - Food/Beverages 395 U.S. 3297

The annual Valentine’s Day card- and gift-giving event may be going out of fashion in the U.S. Panjiva data shows U.S. seaborne imports of Valentine’s related products – including toys, cards and decorations, fell 16.6% year over year in the four months to Jan. 31 (the historic peak shipping season). In absolute terms that made for the lower level of imports since 2014 and follows a 0.1% reduction in 2017 compared to 2016.

WHERE’S THE LOVE?

Chart shows U.S. seaborne imports of products where description includes Valentine.   Source: Panjiva

Imports of sparkling wine and chocolates did little better. Shipments of sparkling wine fell 14.0% year over year in the four month period but have been in a longer-term decline including a 6.6% drop in 2018 compared to 2017. The latter’s also included an outperformance by cheaper Prosecco versus Champagne – imports from Italy rose 10.3% in 2018 whereas shipments from France rose just 0.7%.

Imports of chocolates didn’t avoid the downturn, with a 2.0% drop year over year in the Valentine’s peak season after an 8.8% increase in 2018 versus 2017. The chocolatiers of Belgium, which saw an 18.3% drop in shipments in 2018 versus 2017 will be hoping for a better Easter.

Without being unromantic the ongoing U.S.-EU trade negotiations may cut duties in the future, outlined in Panjiva’s 2019 Outlook, and make EU products look more attractive than those from the U.S.

LESS FESTIVE, LESS LOVING, HEALTHIER LIFESTYLES?

Chart compares U.S. seaborne imports of sparkling wine and packaged chocolates.   Source: Panjiva

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