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Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 11.4 Percent from September 2004 to Record High in September 2005

Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 11.4 Percent from September 2004 to Record High in September 2005

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BTS 55-05
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico rose 11.4 percent in September 2005 from September 2004 to a total of $61.2 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 1.6 percent in September from August (Table 2). Month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations and other factors. Trucks carried 63 percent of imports and 79 percent of exports by value.

The previous monthly high was $60.2 billion in August 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 September was up 33.6 percent compared to September 2002, and up 93.4 percent compared to September 1995, a period of 10 years (Table 3). Imports in September were up 107.4 percent compared to September 1995, while exports were up 77.0 percent.

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada

U.S. - Canada surface transportation trade reached a new monthly high of $40.4 billion in September, up 14.1 percent compared to September 2004 (Table 4). The previous monthly high for U.S.-Canada trade was $39.5 billion in March 2005.  Trucks carried 53 percent of imports and 79 percent of exports by value. The value of imports carried by truck rose 8.9 percent in September 2005 from September 2004 while the value of exports rose 11.4 percent.

Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada in September with $6.6 billion (Table 5).

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Mexico

U.S.-Mexico surface transportation trade totaled $20.8 billion in September, up 6.5 percent compared to September 2004 (Table 6). The September trade value was just $12 million, or 0.1 percent, below the record high set in August 2005. Trucks carried 82 percent of imports and 80 percent of exports by value. The value of imports carried by truck rose 7.3 percent in September 2005 from September 2004 while the value of exports rose 5.1 percent.

Texas led all states in surface trade with Mexico in September with $6.8 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. September transborder numbers include data received by BTS as of Nov. 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/transborder/. BTS will release October transborder numbers on Dec. 30.

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 61,166 11.4
October 56,880    
November 56,134    
December 52,065    
Year-to-date 468,483 512,004 9.3
Annual 633,563    

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

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Mode   September 2004 August 2005 September 2005 Percent Change August-September Percent Change September2004-2005
All Surface Modes Imports 31,458 34,506 35,485 2.8 12.8
Exports 23,455 25,681 25,682 0.0 9.5
Total 54,913 60,188 61,166 1.6 11.4
Truck Imports 20,596 22,255 22,281 0.1 8.2
Exports 18,689 20,514 20,393 -0.6 9.1
Rail Imports 6,858 6,788 7,174 5.7 4.6
Exports 2,669 2,861 2,935 2.6 10.0
Pipeline Imports 3,072 4,434 4,681 5.6 52.4
Exports 141 159 152 -4.3 7.7

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: September 2005 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Compared with September of Prior Years

Excel | CSV

Compared to September in. Percent Change
Imports Exports Total Surface Trade
2004 12.8 9.5 11.4
2003 26.3 23.7 25.2
2002 35.5 31.0 33.6
2001 45.0 42.7 44.0
2000 26.7 21.3 24.4
1999 46.4 34.2 41.0
1998 65.2 44.2 55.7
1997 78.3 46.6 63.4
1996 88.0 61.8 76.0
1995 107.4 77.0 93.4

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

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Mode   September 2004 August 2005 September 2005 Percent Change August-September Percent Change September 2004-2005
All Surface Modes Imports 20,441 22,887 23,659 3.4 15.7
Exports 14,943 16,492 16,711 1.3 11.8
Total 35,385 39,379 40,370 2.5 14.1
Truck Imports 11,545 12,472 12,573 0.8 8.9
Exports 11,861 13,148 13,217 0.5 11.4
Rail Imports 5,082 5,136 5,258 2.4 3.5
Exports 1,452 1,504 1,578 4.9 8.7
Pipeline Imports 3,072 4,434 4,681 5.6 52.4
Exports 121 116 82 -29.3 -32.4

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank State September 2005
1 Michigan 6,586
2 New York 2,860
3 Illinois 2,844
4 Ohio 2,659
5 California 2,413
6 Washington 1,620
7 Texas 1,605
8 Pennsylvania 1,370
9 Tennessee 1,317
10 Indiana 1,270

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

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Mode   September 2004 August 2005 September 2005 Percent Change August-September Percent Change September 2004-2005
All Surface Modes Imports 11,017 11,620 11,826 1.8 7.3
Exports 8,512 9,189 8,971 -2.4 5.4
Total 19,528 20,809 20,796 -0.1 6.5
Truck Imports 9,051 9,783 9,707 -0.8 7.3
Exports 6,828 7,366 7,176 -2.6 5.1
Rail Imports 1,776 1,652 1,916 16.0 7.9
Exports 1,217 1,357 1,357 0.0 11.6
Pipeline Imports 0 0 0 NA NA
Exports 20 43 70 62.6 249.4

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank State September 2005
1 Texas 6,830
2 California 3,547
3 Michigan 2,248
4 Illinois 700
5 Arizona 621
6 Ohio 503
7 Tennessee 457
8 Indiana 446
9 New York 375
10 Pennsylvania 374

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