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NAFTA Freight Flows Slip in April but Up Year-on-Year

Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Monthly freight flows between the U.S. and its NAFTA partners slipped in April but remained high, according to statistics released June 26 by the Department of Transportation. These data show that the value of total U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico by all modes of transportation:

- fell 1.3 percent from March to $100.1 billion;

- rose 1.2 percent from April 2013, including increases of 0.7 percent for truck (despite a 2.5 percent drop in exports) and 27.8 percent for pipeline (including a 100.4 percent gain for exports) along with decreases of 1.8 percent for rail (despite a 2.4 percent rise in exports), 13.2 percent for vessel (including a 22.5 percent fall for imports), and 3.1 percent for air; and

- was up 68.3 percent compared to April 2004, including increases of 58.1 percent for truck, 58.4 percent for rail, 197.1 percent for pipeline, 32.3 percent for air and 123.9 percent for vessel.

U.S.-Canada trade totaled $55.8 billion in April, down 1.4 percent from March but up 1.9 percent from the previous year. The value of freight carried increased year-on-year for truck (0.4 percent, despite a 3.7 percent decline in exports) and pipeline (28.8 percent, including a 158.5 percent gain in exports) but fell for rail (6.5 percent, despite a 3.6 percent rise in exports), vessel (16.6 percent, though exports were up 18.5 percent) and air (7.7 percent).

U.S.-Mexico trade fell to $44.4 billion, down 1.1 percent from March but up 0.3 percent from a year earlier. Compared to April 2013, the value of freight increased for truck (1.1 percent, despite a 0.9 percent fall in exports), rail (6.1 percent, including 10% for imports), pipeline (10.8 percent, despite a 29.6% drop in imports) and air (6.1 percent, including a 15.7 percent surge I exports) but declined for vessel (11.2 percent).

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