PHOENIX — The Port of Oakland, Calif. said Monday that containerized export volume increased 7% last month from a year ago, the fourth consecutive month of increases.

The port said in a release that 2016 export volume is up 16.3% through April, following a 2015 decline that saw Oakland exports drop 11.5. The port attributed export gains to a weaker dollar that makes U.S. goods more affordable overseas.

"We're pleased to see export volume growing," said port maritime director John Driscoll. "It's a sign that business is picking up for our customers."

Total cargo volume in Oakland — imports, exports and empty containers — declined 6.3% in April, the port said. That was due primarily to a near 30% drop in empty container shipments. For the year, Oakland's total cargo volume is up 11.3%.

The port includes the seaport as well as Oakland International Airport. It has a debt portfolio of about $1.2 billion as of its comprehensive annual financial report filed in February. The port announced earlier this year that it had lost one of its biggest terminal operators, but Fitch Ratings downplayed the credit impact of that development.

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