The St. Lawrence Seaway reported total cargo shipments in October of 4.4 million metric tons, a 9.8 percent increase over the same month last year.
For the period March 22 to Oct. 31, year-to-date total cargo shipments were 29.5 million metric tons, a rise of 1.4 percent over the same period in 2011.
“Shipments through the seaway of iron, steel slabs, project cargoes and domestic general cargoes jumped 9 percent over last year’s tally,” said Rebecca Spruill, director, trade development for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. “This is excellent news for ports handling these higher value commodities.”
She noted the "Port of Oswego reported its seventh consecutive month exceeding 10,000 tons of aluminum shipped from Quebec, and the Port of Muskegon welcomed two additional ships laden with wind turbine blades destined for a wind farm project in Michigan.”
In the closing months of the 2012 shipping season, tonnage figures for traditional cargoes remain on the positive side for U.S. ports.
“Though lake levels are lower, economic activity has held steady this season in terms of vessel traffic at the Port of Duluth-Superior. Early indications are that the port is on track to wind up this shipping season with tonnage totals comparable to the 37 million short tons moved last year,” said Adele Yorde, a Duluth Seaway Port Authority spokesperson.
Iron ore shipments through the seaway were up 6 percent in October to
819,000 metric tons versus the same time last year. Year-to-date figures
for iron ore were up 20 percent to 8.5 million metric tons. Coal
shipments for power generation and steel production totaled 378,000
metric tons in October – a decrease of 13 percent from October 2011, but year-to-date coal shipments rose to 3.7 million metric tons – a 25
percent hike over 2011.
Yorde said there has been "strong demand for iron ore and limestone as world economies supported increased prices, plus there’s been a great deal more movement of general cargo such as components for wind energy projects."
U.S. grain, which has been consistently down this season, posted a
46 percent increase for the month of October. - Chris Dupin