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Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Reached a Monthly Record High in March 2006

Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Reached a Monthly Record High in March 2006

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BTS 26-06
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 - Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico was 14.8 percent higher in March 2006 than in March 2005, reaching $68.2 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 14.1 percent in March from February (Table 2). Month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations and other factors.

The previous monthly high was $64.0 billion in October 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 March was up 35.8 percent compared to March 2001, and up 100.5 percent compared to March 1996, a period of 10 years (Table 3). Imports in March were up 114.6 percent compared to March 1996, while exports were up 84.8 percent.

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada

U.S.-Canada surface transportation trade totaled $44.0 billion in March, up 11.4 percent compared to March 2005 (Table 4). The value of imports carried by truck was 8.6 percent higher in March 2006 than March 2005 while the value of exports carried by truck was 13.3 percent higher.

Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada in March with $6.7 billion (Table 5).

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Mexico

U.S. - Mexico surface transportation trade totaled $24.2 billion in March, up 21.5 percent compared to March 2005 (Table 6). The value of imports carried by truck was 18.1 percent higher in March 2006 than March 2005 while the value of exports carried by truck was 21.9 percent higher.

Texas led all states in surface trade with Mexico in March with $7.7 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. March transborder numbers include data received by BTS as of May 15.

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 April transborder numbers on June 29.

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Month 2004 2005 2006 Percent Change 2004-2005 Percent Change 2005-2006
January 45,686 52,334 61,189 14.6 16.9
February 48,170 53,592 59,804 11.3 11.6
March 56,269 59,436 68,213 5.6 14.8
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 62,894   12.0  
December 52,065 59,104   13.5  
Year-to-date 150,125 165,362 189,206 12.9 14.4
Annual 633,563 697,987   10.2  

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   March 2005 February 2006 March 2006 Percent Change Feb. 2006- Mar. 2006 Percent Change March 2005-2006
All Surface Modes Imports 33,627 34,603 38,440 11.1 14.3
Exports 25,808 25,201 29,772 18.1 15.4
Total 59,436 59,804 68,213 14.1 14.8
Truck Imports 21,955 21,156 24,751 17.0 12.7
Exports 20,317 19,802 23,615 19.3 16.2
Rail Imports 7,075 7,080 8,068 13.9 14.0
Exports 3,210 3,073 3,556 15.7 10.8
Pipeline Imports 3,550 5,319 4,378 -17.7 23.3
Exports 359 244 368 50.7 2.6

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 3: March 2006 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Compared with March of Prior Years

Excel | CSV

Compared to March in. Percent Change
Imports Exports Total Surface Trade
2005 14.3 15.4 14.8
2004 20.0 22.8 21.2
2003 34.0 44.0 38.2
2002 46.7 53.4 49.6
2001 34.8 37.1 35.8
2000 33.2 26.6 30.3
1999 58.4 55.0 56.9
1998 78.3 54.8 67.2
1997 102.6 81.1 92.6
1996 114.6 84.8 100.5

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   March 2005 February 2006 March 2006 Percent Change Feb. 2006- Mar. 2006 Percent Change March 2005-2006
All Surface Modes Imports 22,234 23,167 24,644 6.4 10.8
Exports 17,269 16,295 19,359 18.8 12.1
Total 39,503 39,462 44,002 11.5 11.4
Truck Imports 12,449 11,733 13,522 15.2 8.6
Exports 13,445 12,761 15,238 19.4 13.3
Rail Imports 5,364 5,307 5,707 7.5 6.4
Exports 1,897 1,683 2,048 21.7 8.0
Pipeline Imports 3,550 5,319 4,378 -17.7 23.3
Exports 331 186 310 67.3 -6.2

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 March 2006 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank State March 2006
1 Michigan 6,725
2 Illinois 3,065
3 New York 3,038
4 Ohio 2,920
5 California 2,663
6 Texas 2,024
7 Pennsylvania 1,759
8 Washington 1,601
9 Indiana 1,472
10 Tennessee 1,326

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   March 2005 February 2006 March 2006 Percent Change Feb. 2006- Mar. 2006 Percent Change March 2005-2006
All Surface Modes Imports 11,394 11,436 13,796 20.6 21.1
Exports 8,539 8,906 10,414 16.9 22.0
Total 19,933 20,342 24,210 19.0 21.5
Truck Imports 9,506 9,423 11,229 19.2 18.1
Exports 6,872 7,041 8,376 19.0 21.9
Rail Imports 1,712 1,774 2,361 33.1 37.9
Exports 1,313 1,389 1,508 8.6 14.8
Pipeline Imports 0 0 0 NA NA
Exports 28 59 58 -1.7 106.0

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 March 2006 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank State March 2006
1 Texas 7,736
2 California 4,057
3 Michigan 2,675
4 Arizona 952
5 Illinois 757
6 Ohio 632
7 Tennessee 548
8 Indiana 503
9 New York 467
10 North Carolina 453

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