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Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 12.3 Percent from August 2004 to Record High in August 2005

Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 12.3 Percent from August 2004 to Record High in August 2005

(State Rankings in Tables 5 and 7)

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BTS 50-05
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Thursday, October 27, 2005 - Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico rose 12.3 percent in August 2005 from August 2004 to a total of $60.2 billion, the highest monthly level ever recorded, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (Table 1). 

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), reported that total North American surface transportation trade rose 21.1 percent in August from July (Table 2). Month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations and other factors. Trucks carried 64 percent of imports and 80 percent of exports by value.

The previous monthly high was $59.4 billion in March 2005. 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.

Total North American surface transportation trade value in August was up 28.8 percent compared to August 2002, and up 89.8 percent compared to August 1995, a period of 10 years (Table 3). Imports in August were up 103.6 percent compared to August 1995, while exports were up 74.0 percent.

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada

U.S. - Canada surface transportation trade totaled $39.4 billion in August, up 14.6 percent compared to August 2004 (Table 4). Trucks carried 54 percent of imports and 80 percent of exports by value. The value of imports carried by truck rose 9.2 percent in August 2005 from August 2004 while the value of exports rose 18.1 percent.

Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada in August with $6.4 billion (Table 5).

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Mexico

U.S. - Mexico surface transportation trade reached a new monthly high of $20.8 billion in August, up 8.2 percent compared to August 2004 (Table 6). The previous monthly high for U.S.-Mexico trade was $20.4 billion in October 2004. Trucks carried 84 percent of imports and 80 percent of exports by value. The value of imports carried by truck rose 10.1 percent in August 2005 from August 2004 while the value of exports rose 5.7 percent.

Texas led all states in surface trade with Mexico in August with $6.9 billion (Table 7).

The Transborder Surface 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. August transborder numbers include data received by BTS as of Oct. 14, 2005.

The news 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/programs/international/transborder/. BTS will release September transborder numbers on Nov. 29.

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Month 2004 2005 Percent Change 2004-2005
January 45,686 52,334 14.6
February 48,170 53,592 11.3
March 56,269 59,436 5.6
April 53,195 58,297 9.6
May 53,155 57,870 8.9
June 55,422 59,431 7.2
July 48,096 49,690 3.3
August 53,577 60,188 12.3
September 54,913    
October 56,880    
November 56,134    
December 52,065    
Year-to-date 413,570 450,838 9.0
Annual 633,563    

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

Table 2: U.S. Merchandise Trade with Canada and Mexico by Surface Modes of Transportation

(millions of dollars)

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Mode   August 2004 July 2005 August 2005 Percent Change July - August Percent Change August 2004-2005
All Surface Modes Imports 31,242 28,705 34,506 20.2 10.4
Exports 22,335 20,985 25,681 22.4 15.0
Total 53,577 49,690 60,188 21.1 12.3
Truck Imports 20,309 18,476 22,255 20.5 9.6
Exports 18,098 16,637 20,514 23.3 13.3
Rail Imports 6,756 5,276 6,788 28.7 0.5
Exports 2,348 2,273 2,861 25.8 21.9
Pipeline Imports 3,228 3,624 4,434 22.4 37.4
Exports 40 205 159 -22.7 297.2

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset, http://www.bts.gov/programs/international/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/programs/international/transborder/srfin.html

Table 3: August 2005 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Compared with August of Prior Years

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Compared to August in. Percent Change
Imports Exports Total Surface Trade
2004 10.4 15.0 12.3
2003 32.9 34.7 33.7
2002 29.0 28.5 28.8
2001 29.1 25.8 27.7
2000 22.4 16.1 19.6
1999 42.0 37.0 39.8
1998 75.4 59.4 68.2
1997 83.6 56.1 70.7
1996 82.4 62.7 73.5
1995 103.6 74.0 89.8

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

Table 4: U.S. Merchandise Trade with Canada by Surface Modes of Transportation

(millions of dollars)

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Mode   August 2004 July 2005 August 2005 Percent Change July - August Percent Change August 2004-2005
All Surface Modes Imports 20,414 18,778 22,887 21.9 12.1
Exports 13,934 13,040 16,492 26.5 18.4
Total 34,348 31,817 39,379 23.8 14.6
Truck Imports 11,424 10,013 12,472 24.6 9.2
Exports 11,129 10,264 13,148 28.1 18.1
Rail Imports 5,031 4,029 5,136 27.5 2.1
Exports 1,289 1,138 1,504 32.2 16.7
Pipeline Imports 3,228 3,624 4,434 22.4 37.4
Exports 33 154 116 -24.9 247.8

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset, http://www.bts.gov/programs/international/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/programs/international/transborder/srfin.html

Table 5: Top 10 States Trading with Canada by Surface Modes of Transportation, Ranked by August 2005 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

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Rank State August 2005
1 Michigan 6,444
2 Illinois 2,719
3 New York 2,616
4 Ohio 2,559
5 California 2,458
6 Texas 1,664
7 Washington 1,586
8 Pennsylvania 1,538
9 Indiana 1,284
10 Tennessee 1,180

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

Table 6: U.S. Merchandise Trade with Mexico by Surface Modes of Transportation

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Mode   Augus 2004 July 2005 August 2005 Percent Change July - August Percent Change August 2004-2005
All Surface Modes Imports 10,828 9,927 11,620 17.0 7.3
Exports 8,400 7,945 9,189 15.7 9.4
Total 19,228 17,872 20,809 16.4 8.2
Truck Imports 8,885 8,462 9,783 15.6 10.1
Exports 6,969 6,372 7,366 15.6 5.7
Rail Imports 1,726 1,247 1,652 32.5 -4.3
Exports 1,059 1,136 1,357 19.5 28.1
Pipeline Imports 0 0 0 NA NA
Exports 7 51 43 -15.9 541.2

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset, http://www.bts.gov/programs/international/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/programs/international/transborder/srfin.html

Table 7: Top 10 States Trading with Mexico by Surface Modes of Transportation, Ranked by August 2005 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

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Rank State August 2005
1 Texas 6,872
2 California 3,572
3 Michigan 1,959
4 Illinois 746
5 Arizona 619
6 Ohio 514
7 Tennessee 482
8 Indiana 460
9 North Carolina 398
10 New York 377

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