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NAFTA Freight Flow Values See Monthly and Year-on-Year Declines

Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The value of monthly freight flows between the U.S. and its NAFTA partners tumbled 6.1 percent from June to July, to $93.0 billion, according to statistics released Sept. 29 by the Department of Transportation. The value of NAFTA freight flows was also down 8.0 percent from a year earlier as all modes of transportation except air carried less freight and the prices of mineral fuel shipments continued to fall.

Month-to-Month Changes. Percentage changes in the value of monthly U.S. freight flows by mode of transportation from June to July include the following.

 

Total

Canada

Mexico

 

Imports

Exports

Imports

Exports

Imports

Exports

Truck

-9.5

-5.7

+16.1

-10.5

-6.2

no change

Rail

-16.2

-7.4

-12.8

-16.9

-20.2

+2.9

Vessel

-16.8

+19.2

-29.2

+15.2

-7.1

+17.7

Air

+5.5

-1.0

+7.7

-4.6

+1.7

+5.2

Pipeline

+16.9

-0.1

+16.9

-5.6

+27.3

+7.1

Year-on-Year Changes. The value of total U.S. trade with Canada was down 14.0 percent from July 2014. The DOT noted that a major contributor to this decline was the lower prices for mineral fuels, which are a large share of freight carried by vessel and pipeline. The value of U.S. trade with Mexico slipped 0.8 percent amid losses for rail, vessel and pipeline. Mineral fuels regained their spot as the top commodity category for all modes transported between the U.S. and Canada, surpassing vehicles and parts for the first time in four months, while the top category for U.S.-Mexico trade was electrical machinery.

Percentage changes in the value of monthly U.S. freight flows by mode of transportation from June 2014 to June 2015 include the following.

 

Total

Canada

Mexico

 

Imports

Exports

Imports

Exports

Imports

Exports

Truck

+2.5

-3.6

-1.7

-9.6

+5.6

+3.6

Rail

-13.3

-16.4

-14.9

-26.9

-11.1

-4.5

Vessel

-35.0

-16.1

-30.2

-26.3

-37.5

-9.2

Air

+4.1

+2.9

+10.4

-6.4

-5.1

+22.3

Pipeline

-35.8

-29.5

-36.0

-39.5

+50.0

-7.1

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