St. Lawrence Seaway reports a raise in dry bulk tonnage in August

Despite the busy August, total tonnage so far this season is down 3.5 per cent from last year.

The Chamber of Marine Commerce reports that August proved to be a strong month for Great Lakes-Seaway shipping led by grain exports, iron ore, road salt and construction materials.

Despite the busy August, St. Lawrence Seaway cargo tonnage from March 22 to August 31 totaled 20.9 million tonnes, down 3.5 per cent from last year.

“For the most part, Canadian grain volumes have been in line with 2018 and we expect that trend will continue in the fall as the new harvests come to market while iron ore exports should remain strong,” said Terence Bowles, President and CEO of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation. “The Seaway is also attracting more international salt imports – cargo that in the past typically came through the Gulf Coast. This business has helped offset decreases in steel imports, which have been crimped by the imposition of tariffs”.

August was a big month for dry bulk shipments, including salt and stone. For the year, dry bulk is up 12 per cent compared to 2018, while salt shipments are up 23.7 per cent as cities and towns replenish in preparation for the coming winter.

Canadian grain shipments via the Seaway for the season totaled 4.3 million metric tons, down just 1.9 per cent from 2018. Prairie canola has been the star performer with exports via the Port of Thunder Bay to Europe and Latin America surging by 85 per cent this season. There is more stock available due to China not buying canola from Canada and there is more demand after the European canola crop was much smaller this year.

Source: Chamber of Marine Commerce