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NAFTA Freight Flows Down for Third Consecutive Month

Friday, October 24, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Monthly freight flows between the U.S. and its NAFTA partners slipped 0.4 percent to $100.6 billion from July to August, according to statistics released Oct. 23 by the Department of Transportation. However, the value of total U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico rose 4.4 percent from August 2013, including increases of 3.3 percent for truck, 3.4 percent for rail (where an 11.0 percent gain in exports offset a 0.6 percent fall in imports), 6.8 percent for pipeline, 11.7 percent for vessel (including a 32.7 percent increase in exports) and 2.3 percent for air (including a 14.1 percent jump in imports that offset a 5.6 percent drop in exports).

U.S.-Canada trade totaled $55.5 billion in August, up 0.5 percent from July and 4.3 percent from the previous year. The value of freight carried saw no change for the truck and air modes but increased year-on-year for rail (2.2 percent, including a 10.1 percent uptick in exports), pipeline (6.1 percent, including a 12.9 percent jump in exports), and vessel (46.9 percent, including a 144.3 percent surge in exports).

U.S.-Mexico trade totaled $45.1 billion, down 1.7 percent from July but up 4.4 percent from a year earlier. Compared to August 2013, the value of freight increased for truck (6.6 percent), rail (5.2 percent, including a 12.0 percent rise in exports), pipeline (21.1 percent, including a 22.3 percent jump in exports) and air (6.7 percent, where a 17.2 percent increase in exports offset a 4.4 percent decline in imports). The value of freight carried by vessel slipped 5.3 percent, including drops of 6.8 percent for imports and 3.1 percent for exports.

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