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NAFTA Freight Flows Up 3.5% in August, Led by Pipeline Shipments

Friday, November 08, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Monthly freight flows between the U.S. and its NAFTA partners reversed course and climbed 3.5% in August to $96.5 billion, according to statistics released Nov. 7 by the Department of Transportation. These statistics show that the value of total U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico by all modes of transportation:

- rose 2.0% from August 2012, including increases of 0.7% for truck (which carried 59.9% of U.S.-NAFTA trade), 3.0% for rail (despite a 3.3% drop in exports) and 18.2% for pipeline (including a 50.2% increase for exports) as well as decreases of 2.6% for vessel and 2.4% for air (including a 12.9% drop for imports); and

- was up 60.0% compared to August 2004, including 50.5% for truck, 65.7% for rail, 117.7% for pipeline, 38.8% for air and 97.3% for vessel.

Canada. U.S.-Canada trade totaled $53.4 billion in August, up 7% from July and 3.2% from the previous year. The value of freight carried increased year-on-year for truck (0.3%), pipeline (20.6%, including a 136.9% increase in exports), vessel (9.7%, including a 23.6% increase in exports) and air (3.4%, despite a 5.9% drop in imports) but fell for rail (1.4%, including a 5.9% drop in exports).

Mexico. U.S.-Mexico trade was virtually unchanged from July at $43.2 billion but was up 0.7% from a year earlier. Compared to August 2012 the value of freight increased for truck (1.1%) and rail (10.1%, including a 17.2% gain in imports) but declined for pipeline (17.5%, where a 21.9% gain in imports was offset by a 19.5% fall in exports), vessel (7.6%) and air (12.1%, including a 21.4% loss in imports).

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