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Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Reached a Monthly Record High in October 2005

Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Reached a Monthly Record High in October 2005

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BTS 60-05
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Friday, December 30, 2005 - Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico was 12.5 percent higher in October 2005 than in October 2004, reaching $64 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 4.6 percent in October from September (Table 2). Month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations and other factors.

The previous monthly high was $61.2 billion in September 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 October was up 34.3 percent compared to October 2001, and up 90.7 percent compared to October 1995, a period of 10 years (Table 3). Imports in October were up 103.3 percent compared to October 1995, while exports were up 75.5 percent.

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada

U.S. - Canada surface transportation trade reached a new monthly high of $42.1 billion in October, 15.3 percent higher than in October 2004 (Table 4). The previous monthly high for U.S.-Canada trade was $40.4 billion in September 2005. The value of imports carried by truck was 11.3 percent higher in October 2005 than October 2004 while the value of exports carried by truck was 10.1 percent higher.

Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada in October with $6.5 billion (Table 5).

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Mexico

U.S. - Mexico surface transportation trade reached a new monthly high of $21.9 billion in October, 7.4 percent higher than in October 2004 (Table 6). The previous monthly high for U.S.-Mexico trade was $20.8 billion in August 2005. The value of imports carried by truck was 6.8 percent higher in October 2005 than October 2004 while the value of exports carried by truck was 7.6 percent higher.

Texas led all states in surface trade with Mexico in October with $7.2 billion (Table 7).

The 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. October transborder numbers include data received by BTS as of Dec. 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 November transborder numbers on Jan. 31, 2006.

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 63,985 12.5
November 56,134    
December 52,065    
Year-to-date 525,363 575,989 9.6
Annual 633,563    

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

Note: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding.

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Mode   October 2004 September 2005 October 2005 Percent Change Sept.  - October Percent Change October 2004-2005
All Surface Modes Imports 32,586 35,485 37,199 4.8 14.2
Exports 24,294 25,682 26,786 4.3 10.3
Total 56,880 61,166 63,985 4.6 12.5
Truck Imports 21,288 22,281 23,271 4.4 9.3
Exports 19,352 20,393 21,126 3.6 9.2
Rail Imports 6,984 7,174 7,449 3.8 6.7
Exports 2,814 2,935 3,197 8.9 13.6
Pipeline Imports 3,281 4,681 5,079 8.5 54.8
Exports 158 152 169 11.5 6.7

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; Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding.

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

Excel | CSV

Compared to October in. Percent Change
Imports Exports Total Surface Trade
2004 14.2 10.3 12.5
2003 24.6 19.0 22.2
2002 32.0 24.8 28.9
2001 38.9 28.5 34.3
2000 27.0 19.5 23.7
1999 48.2 30.7 40.4
1998 63.1 42.8 54.0
1997 77.9 42.7 61.3
1996 90.3 46.9 69.4
1995 103.3 75.5 90.7

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   October 2004 September 2005 October 2005 Percent Change Sept.  - October Percent Change October 2004-2005
All Surface Modes Imports 21,045 23,659 24,857 5.1 18.1
Exports 15,455 16,711 17,239 3.2 11.5
Total 36,499 40,370 42,097 4.3 15.3
Truck Imports 11,817 12,573 13,152 4.6 11.3
Exports 12,270 13,217 13,508 2.2 10.1
Rail Imports 5,102 5,258 5,427 3.2 6.4
Exports 1,444 1,578 1,750 10.9 21.2
Pipeline Imports 3,281 4,681 5,079 8.5 54.8
Exports 137 82 100 22.5 -27.2

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; Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding.

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank State October 2005
1 Michigan 6,479
2 New York 3,144
3 Illinois 3,120
4 California 2,595
5 Ohio 2,579
6 Texas 1,869
7 Washington 1,712
8 Pennsylvania 1,532
9 Indiana 1,346
10 Tennessee 1,344

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   October 2004 September 2005 October 2005 Percent Change Sept.  - October Percent Change October 2004-2005
All Surface Modes Imports 11,542 11,826 12,342 4.4 6.9
Exports 8,840 8,971 9,547 6.4 8.0
Total 20,381 20,796 21,888 5.3 7.4
Truck Imports 9,471 9,707 10,120 4.2 6.8
Exports 7,082 7,176 7,618 6.2 7.6
Rail Imports 1,882 1,916 2,023 5.6 7.5
Exports 1,370 1,357 1,447 6.6 5.6
Pipeline Imports 0 0 0 NA NA
Exports 21 70 69 -1.4 228.6

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; Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding.

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank State October 2005
1 Texas 7,243
2 California 3,748
3 Michigan 2,314
4 Illinois 699
5 Arizona 673
6 Ohio 504
7 Indiana 496
8 Tennessee 467
9 New York 401
10 Pennsylvania 376

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