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North American Surface Trade Numbers for 2004; Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 12.6 Percent From 2003

North American Surface Trade Numbers for 2004; Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 12.6 Percent From 2003

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BTS 09-05
Roger Lotz
202-366-2246

Tuesday, March 1, 2005 - More than $633 billion worth of goods crossed the border by surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico in 2004, 12.6 percent more than 2003, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported today (Table 1).

Exports with NAFTA partners increased 11.9 percent from 2003 to 2004 while imports over that same time rose 13.1 percent.  The greatest percentage increase was in pipeline exports which increased 82.7 percent, while rail exports grew 16.1 percent and truck exports grew 10.5 percent. Measured in changes in the value of trade between 2003 and 2004, increases in imports were larger than increases in exports for each surface mode (Table 2).   

Surface transportation consists largely of freight movements by truck, rail and pipeline.  About 90 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moves on land. 

December North American Trade

More than $52.0 billion worth of goods crossed the border by surface transportation between the United States and its NAFTA partners in December 2004, 14.6 percent more than in December 2003 (Table 1).

Total surface transportation trade fell 7.3 percent in December 2004 from November 2004 (Table 3).  Month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations and other factors. 

Total surface transportation trade value in December 2004 was up 36.1 percent compared to December 2001 and 80.5 percent compared to December 1994, the year NAFTA took effect (Table 4).  Exports increased 60.2 percent compared to December 1994 while imports over that same time rose 99.7 percent (Table 4).   

December U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada

U.S. - Canada surface transportation trade rose 15.7 percent to $33.8 billion in December 2004 compared to December 2003.  Carrying the largest amount by value, exports by truck increased 17.5 percent compared to December 2003 while imports by truck rose 15.4 percent (Table 5). Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada in December 2004 with $5.5 billion (Table 6).  

December U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Mexico

U.S. - Mexico surface transportation trade rose 12.7 percent to $18.3 billion in December 2004 compared to December 2003.  Carrying the largest amount by value, imports by truck increased 12.1 percent while exports by truck rose 12.0 percent over the same period (Table 7).

Texas led all states in surface trade with Mexico in December 2004 with $5.7 billion (Table 8).

November 2004 - Revisions

On Jan. 31, 2005, Statistics Canada announced that Canadian imports from the United States in November 2004 were understated in its Jan. 12, 2005 release.  The U.S. Census Bureau and Statistics Canada cooperate in a data exchange program where Canadian import transactions, collected by the Canada Border Services Agency are provided, through Statistics Canada, to the Census Bureau to derive U.S. exports to Canada.  Statistics Canada notified the U.S. Census Bureau that some Canadian import transactions for November 2004 were omitted in the data exchange, resulting in an understatement of U.S. exports to Canada of approximately $1.4 billion. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics' November 2004 export numbers have been revised to include the omitted transactions and are being made available with the release of the December 2004 statistics in this release. 

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics Transborder Freight Dataset is a special extract of the official U.S. foreign trade statistics.  The data are tabulated for BTS monthly by the U.S. Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Division.  The Bureau of Transportation Statistics uses this data to develop the monthly North American Surface Trade data.   

The press release and summary tables can be found at www.bts.gov.  More information on transborder freight data and data from previous months are posted on the BTS website at http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

BTS will release January 2005 Transborder Freight Data numbers on March 29. 

Table 1. Monthly Value of U.S. Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Month 2003 2004 Percent Change 2003-2004
January 43,756 45,686 4.4
February 43,835 48,170 9.9
March 49,358 56,269 14
April 46,842 53,195 13.6
May 48,813 53,155 8.9
June 47,432 55,422 16.9
July 42,607 48,096 12.9
August 45,024 53,577 19
September 48,867 54,913 12.4
October 52,362 56,880 8.6
November 48,456 56,134R 15.8
December 45,425 52,065 14.6
Year to Date 562,777 633,562 12.6
Annual 562,777 633,562 12.6

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

R: Data have been revised since last monthly release

Table 2. Annual U.S. Merchandise Trade with Canada and Mexico using Surface Transportation

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Mode   2003 2004 Percent Change 2003-2004
All Surface Modes Imports 322,291 364,381 13.1
Exports 240,486 269,181 11.9
Total 562,776 633,563 12.6
Truck Imports 209,249 237,706 13.6
Exports 194,786 215,247 10.5
Rail Imports 69,683 78,131 12.1
Exports 26,041 30,229 16.1
Pipeline Imports 31,451 36,829 17.1
Exports 915 1,671 82.7

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

Note: The value of all surface modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail and pipeline modes. The value of trade for all surface modes includes shipments made by truck, rail, pipeline, mail, foreign trade zones, other and unknown modes of transportation.  For additional detail refer to the Transborder Surface Freight data "Sources and Reliability" statement: http://www.bts.gov/ntda/tbscd/srfin.html

Table 3. Monthly U.S. Merchandise Trade with Canada and Mexico using Surface Transportation

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Mode   December 2003 November 2004R December 2004 Percent Change November-December 2004 Percent Change December 2003-2004
All Surface Modes Imports 25,939 32,005 29,668 -7.3 14.4
Exports 19,486 24,129 22,397 -7.2 14.9
Total 45,425 56,134 52,065 -7.3 14.6
Truck Imports 16,805 20,764 19,141 -7.8 13.9
Exports 15,377 19,062 17,758 -6.8 15.5
Rail Imports 5,880 6,677 6,199 -7.2 5.4
Exports 2,259 2,901 2,528 -12.9 11.9
Pipeline Imports 2,381 3,465 3,309 -4.5 39
Exports 103 104 238 129.4 130.2

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

R: Data have been revised since last monthly release

Table 4. December 2004 Surface Trade Compared with December of Prior Years: Percent Change

Excel | CSV

Compared to December in. Percent
Imports Exports Total Surface Trade
2003 14.4 14.9 14.6
2002 25.7 30.3 27.7
2001 36.1 36.2 36.1
2000 15.8 17 16.3
1999 26.9 15.4 21.7
1998 45.6 33.4 40.1
1997 56.5 38.7 48.3
1996 71.1 39.5 55.9
1995 89.7 65 78.2
1994 99.7 60.2 80.5

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

Table 5. U.S. Merchandise Trade with Canada using Surface Transportation

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Mode   December 2003 November 2004R December 2004 Percent Change November-December 2004 Percent Change December 2003-2004
All Surface Modes Imports 16,763 20,908 19,306 -7.7 15.2
Exports 12,406 15,316 14,444 -5.7 16.4
Total 29,169 36,224 33,750 -6.8 15.7
Truck Imports 9,243 11,569 10,666 -7.8 15.4
Exports 9,663 12,016 11,357 -5.5 17.5
Rail Imports 4,460 4,988 4,527 -9.2 1.5
Exports 1,273 1,584 1,364 -13.9 7.1
Pipeline Imports 2,381 3,465 3,309 -4.5 39
Exports 97 96 226 135.6 132.9

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

For Note: See Table 2

R: Data have been revised since last monthly release

Table 6. Top 10 States Trading with Canada using Surface Transportation, ranked by December 2004 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank State December 2004
1 Michigan 5,524
2 New York 2,350
3 Illinois 2,263
4 California 2,198
5 Ohio 2,153
6 Texas 1,513
7 Pennsylvania 1,211
8 Washington 1,163
9 Indiana 1,044
10 Tennessee 987

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

Table 7. U.S. Merchandise Trade with Mexico using Surface Transportation

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Mode   December 2003 November 2004 December 2004 Percent Change November-December 2004 Percent Change December 2003-2004
All Surface Modes Imports 9,176 11,097 10,362 -6.6 12.9
Exports 7,080 8,813 7,953 -9.8 12.3
Total 16,256 19,910 18,315 -8 12.7
Truck Imports 7,562 9,195 8,475 -7.8 12.1
Exports 5,714 7,046 6,401 -9.1 12
Rail Imports 1,421 1,690 1,672 -1.1 17.7
Exports 987 1,317 1,164 -11.6 18
Pipeline Imports 0 0 0 NA NA
Exports 6 8 12 54.7 89.9

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

For Note: See Table 2

R: Data have been revised since last monthly release

Table 8. Top 10 States Trading with Mexico using Surface Transportation, ranked by December 2004 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank State December 2004
1 Texas 5,723
2 California 3,404
3 Michigan 1,976
4 Arizona 701
5 Illinois 607
6 Ohio 476
7 Indiana 410
8 Tennessee 403
9 North Carolina 339
10 New York 305

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/