Great Lakes/Seaway iron ore trade up slightly, limestone down in May

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 6.1 million tons in May, an increase of 1.8 percent compared to a year ago. However, shipments trailed the month’s five-year average by 5 percent.

Shipments from U.S. Great Lakes ports totaled 5.7 million tons in May, an increase of 5 percent. All of those tons originated at Lake Superior ports. Escanaba, Michigan, on the north shore of Lake Michigan, shipped its last iron ore load April 18.

Loadings at Canadian terminals in the Seaway in May totaled 390,000 tons, a decrease of nearly 30 percent.

Year-to-date, the iron ore trade stands at 17 million tons, an increase of 10.2 percent compared to the same point in 2016. Year-over-year, loadings at U.S. ports total 15.4 million tons, an increase of 11.3 percent. Shipments from Canadian ports in the St. Lawrence Seaway are virtually the same as a year ago—1,564,483 tons.

Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3.6 million tons in May, a decrease of 5.4 percent compared to a year ago. May’s loadings were, however, slightly above the month’s five-year average.

Loadings from U.S. quarries totaled 2.9 million tons, a decrease of 4.2 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments from Canadian quarries totaled 683,000 tons, a decrease of 9.3 percent.

Year-to-date, the Lakes limestone trade stands at 5.3 million tons, a decrease of 12.3 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings from Michigan and Ohio quarries total 4.3 million tons, a decrease of 11.4 percent. Shipments from Ontario quarries total 980,000 tons, a decrease of 16.3 percent.

Maritime Editorial