Iron ore shipments on US Great Lakes drop 19 percent year-on-year in August

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 5.9 million tons in August, a decrease of 19 percent compared to a year ago, according to a report Thursday from the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA).  High levels of steel imports continued to depress the trade, but another factor was that three of the largest US-flag lakers were undergoing repairs during the month.  These vessels have a combined per-trip capacity of more than 200,000 tons.

Shipments from US ports totaled 5 million tons, a decrease of 26.5 percent compared to a year ago.  These were the ports impacted by the three 1,000-footers being out of service for the majority of the month.  One of the vessels sailed again on August 28.  The other two vessels are expected to return to service by September 20. Loadings at Canadian ports in the Seaway nearly doubled to 921,000 tons.

Through August, the Lakes/Seaway ore trade stands at 33.5 million tons, a near carbon copy of a year ago, and a slight decrease compared to the long-term average.

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