Great Lakes/Seaway iron ore trade up nearly 9 percent in April

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 5.8 million tons in April, an increase of 8.8 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments topped the month’s five-year average by nearly 21 percent.

Shipments from U.S. Great Lakes ports totaled 5.3 million tons in April, an increase of 6.8 percent. Loadings at Canadian terminals in the Seaway jumped 35 percent to 507,000 tons.

The month also witnessed the final shipment of iron ore from Escanaba, Michigan. On April 18, the U.S.-flag laker Wilfred Sykes loaded 22,823 tons for delivery to Indiana Harbor, Indiana. The iron ore mine that shipped through Escanaba, the Empire Mine in Palmer, Michigan, has closed. All domestically mined iron ore now must transit the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, in order to feed blast furnaces in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Year-to-date, the iron ore trade stands at 10.9 million tons, an increase of 15.6 percent compared to the same point in 2016. Year-over-year, loadings at U.S. ports total 9.7 million tons, an increase of 15.4 percent. Shipments from Canadian ports in the St. Lawrence Seaway have increased slightly to 1.2 million tons.

Maritime Editorial