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December 2008 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Fell 13.1 Percent from December 2007

December 2008 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Fell 13.1 Percent from December 2007

(State Rankings in Tables 5 and 7)

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BTS 10-09
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Tuesday, March 3, 2009 - Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico , was 13.1 percent lower in December 2008 than in December 2007, dropping to $52.9 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (Table 1). December was the second straight month with a year-to-year decline of greater than 13 percent.

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico fell 12.8 percent in December from November (Table 2). Month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations and other factors.

Surface transportation consists largely of freight movements by truck, rail and pipeline. About 88 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moves on land.

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico in December was up 16.5 percent compared to December 2003, and up 42.3 percent compared to December 1998, a period of 10 years (Table 3). Imports in December were up 41.9 percent compared to December 1998, while exports were up 42.9 percent.

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada

U.S.Canada surface transportation trade totaled $32.9 billion in December, down 17.0 percent compared to December 2007 (Table 4). The value of imports carried by truck was 15.4 percent lower in December 2008 compared to December 2007, while the value of exports carried by truck was 13.7 percent lower.

Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada in December with $4.0 billion (Table 5).

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Mexico

U.S.Mexico surface transportation trade totaled $20.0 billion in December, down 6.0 percent compared to December 2007 (Table 6). The value of imports carried by truck was 11.8 percent lower in December 2008 than December 2007 while the value of exports carried by truck was 9.7 percent higher.

Texas led all states in surface trade with Mexico in December with $6.4 billion (Table 7).

The TransBorder Freight Data are a unique subset of official U.S. foreign trade statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau. New data are tabulated monthly and historical data are not adjusted for inflation. December TransBorder numbers include data received by BTS as of Feb. 11.

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 January TransBorder numbers on March 31.

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Month 2006 2007 2008 Percent Change 2006-2007 Percent Change 2007-2008
January 61,189 60,649 65,160 -0.9 7.4
February 59,804 59,667 69,406 -0.2 16.3
March 68,213 69,768 70,787 2.3 1.5
April 61,742 65,015 74,317 5.3 14.3
May 65,994 69,423 74,128 5.2 6.8
June 66,898 69,526 74,139 3.9 6.6
July 55,939 61,823 71,628 10.5 15.9
August 66,354 69,158 72,254 4.2 4.5
September 63,295 66,771 71,801 5.5 7.5
October 66,846 74,249 72,683 11.1 -2.1
November 64,805 70,352 60,661 8.6 -13.8
December 59,049 60,902 52,910 3.1 -13.1
Annual 760,127 797,303 829,875 4.9 4.1

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

Note: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding. Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 2. U.S. Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico by Mode of Transportation

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Mode   December 2007 November 2008 December 2008 Percent Change Nov. 2008-Dec. 2008 Percent Change December 2007-2008
All Surface Modes Imports 34,497 32,808 28,908 -11.9 -16.2
Exports 26,405 27,853 24,002 -13.8 -9.1
Total 60,902 60,661 52,910 -12.8 -13.1
Truck Imports 20,892 19,714 18,042 -8.5 -13.6
Exports 19,775 21,328 18,576 -12.9 -6.1
Rail Imports 7,137 6,763 5,263 -22.2 -26.3
Exports 3,836 3,949 3,010 -23.8 -21.5
Pipeline Imports 5,116 5,140 4,384 -14.7 -14.3
Exports 466 343 261 -23.9 -44.0

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

Notes: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding. Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding. The value of trade for all surface modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail and pipeline modes, it also includes shipments made by mail, foreign trade zones, other and unknown modes of transportation.  For additional detail refer to the Data Fields Section of the TransBorder web page: http://www.bts.gov/transborder/TBDR_DataFields.html.

Table 3. December 2008 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Compared with December of Prior Years

Excel | CSV

Compared to December in… Percent Change
Imports Exports Total Surface Trade
2007 -16.2 -9.1 -13.1
2006 -14.8 -4.5 -10.4
2005 -16.3 -2.3 -10.5
2004 -2.6 7.2 1.6
2003 11.4 23.2 16.5
2002 22.5 39.6 29.7
2001 32.6 45.9 38.3
2000 12.8 25.4 18.2
1999 23.7 23.6 23.7
1998 41.9 42.9 42.3

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Mode   December 2007 November 2008 December 2008 Percent Change Nov. 2008-Dec. 2008 Percent Change December 2007-2008
All Surface Modes Imports 21,903 20,433 17,821 -12.8 -18.6
Exports 17,707 17,349 15,072 -13.1 -14.9
Total 39,610 37,782 32,893 -12.9 -17.0
Truck Imports 10,694 9,907 9,047 -8.7 -15.4
Exports 13,312 13,267 11,488 -13.4 -13.7
Rail Imports 5,060 4,546 3,484 -23.4 -31.2
Exports 2,296 2,143 1,679 -21.7 -26.9
Pipeline Imports 5,099 5,132 4,378 -14.7 -14.1
Exports 277 255 217 -15.1 -21.9

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

Note: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding. Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding. The value of trade for all surface modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail and pipeline modes, it also includes shipments made by mail, foreign trade zones, other and unknown modes of transportation.  For additional detail refer to the Data Fields Section of the TransBorder web page: http://www.bts.gov/transborder/TBDR_DataFields.html.

Table 5. Top 10 States Trading with Canada by Surface Modes of Transportation

Ranked by December 2008 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank State December 2008
1 Michigan 4,000
2 Illinois 3,034
3 New York 2,169
4 Ohio 2,076
5 California 1,973
6 Texas 1,854
7 Washington 1,395
8 Pennsylvania 1,324
9 Tennessee 1,069
10 Minnesota 1,004

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Mode   December 2007 November 2008 December 2008 Percent Change Nov. 2008-Dec. 2008 Percent Change December 2007-2008
All Surface Modes Imports 12,593 12,375 11,086 -10.4 -12.0
Exports 8,698 10,504 8,931 -15.0 2.7
Total 21,292 22,879 20,017 -12.5 -6.0
Truck Imports 10,198 9,807 8,996 -8.3 -11.8
Exports 6,463 8,061 7,088 -12.1 9.7
Rail Imports 2,077 2,217 1,779 -19.7 -14.4
Exports 1,540 1,805 1,332 -26.2 -13.5
Pipeline Imports 17 8 6 -21.3 -65.6
Exports 189 88 45 -49.4 -76.4

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

Note: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding. Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding. The value of trade for all surface modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail and pipeline modes, it also includes shipments made by mail, foreign trade zones, other and unknown modes of transportation.  For additional detail refer to the Data Fields Section of the TransBorder web page: http://www.bts.gov/transborder/TBDR_DataFields.html

Table 7. Top 10 States Trading with Mexico by Surface Modes of Transportation

Ranked by December 2008 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank State December 2008
1 Texas 6,442
2 California 3,308
3 Michigan 2,034
4 Arizona 839
5 Illinois 762
6 Ohio 571
7 Tennessee 392
8 North Carolina 355
9 Pennsylvania 329
10 Georgia 324

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/