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January 2009 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Fell 27.2 Percent from January 2008

January 2009 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Fell 27.2 Percent from January 2008

(State Rankings in Tables 5 and 7)

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BTS 15-09
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - Surface transportation trade between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico was 27.2 percent lower in January 2009 than in January 2008, dropping to $47.5 billion, the biggest year-to-year percentage decline on record, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (Table 1). The $47.5 billion in U.S.-NAFTA trade in January 2009 was the lowest monthly amount since January 2004.

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico fell 10.3 percent in January from December (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 January was up 3.9 percent in the five-year period compared to January 2004, and up 31.6 percent over the 10-year period compared to January 1999 (Table 3). Imports in January were up 26.4 percent compared to January 1999, while exports were up 38.1 percent.

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada

U.S.Canada surface transportation trade totaled $29.0 billion in January, down 31.1 percent compared to January 2008 (Table 4). The value of imports carried by truck was 31.3 percent lower in January 2009 compared to January 2008, while the value of exports carried by truck was 27.2 percent lower.

Illinois led all states in surface trade with Canada in January with $2.6 billion (Table 5).

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Mexico

U.S.Mexico surface transportation trade totaled $18.5 billion in January, down 20.0 percent compared to January 2008 (Table 6). The value of imports carried by truck was 20.5 percent lower in January 2009 than January 2008 while the value of exports carried by truck was 10.7 percent lower.

Texas led all states in surface trade with Mexico in January with $6.3 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. January TransBorder numbers include data received by BTS as of March 13.

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 February TransBorder numbers on April 30.

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Month 2007 2008 2009 Percent Change 2007-2008 Percent Change 2008-2009
January 60,649 65,160 47,459 7.4 -27.2
February 59,667 69,406   16.3  
March 69,768 70,787   1.5  
April 65,015 74,317   14.3  
May 69,423 74,128   6.8  
June 69,526 74,139   6.6  
July 61,823 71,628   15.9  
August 69,158 72,254   4.5  
September 66,771 71,801   7.5  
October 74,249 72,683   -2.1  
November 70,352 60,661   -13.8  
December 60,902 52,910   -13.1  
Annual 797,303 829,875   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   January 2008 December 2008 January 2009 Percent Change Dec. 2008-Jan. 2009 Percent Change January 2008-2009
All Surface Modes Imports 36,648 28,908 25,552 -11.6 -30.3
Exports 28,512 24,002 21,907 -8.7 -23.2
Total 65,160 52,910 47,459 -10.3 -27.2
Truck Imports 22,495 18,042 16,629 -7.8 -26.1
Exports 21,887 18,576 17,249 -7.1 -21.2
Rail Imports 6,630 5,263 4,017 -23.7 -39.4
Exports 3,827 3,010 2,457 -18.4 -35.8
Pipeline Imports 6,006 4,384 3,809 -13.1 -36.6
Exports 418 261 366 39.9 -12.6

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 and other 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. January 2009 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Compared with January of Prior Years

Excel | CSV

Compared to January in... Percent Change
Imports Exports Total Surface Trade
2008 -30.3 -23.2 -27.2
2007 -27.0 -14.6 -21.7
2006 -29.1 -12.9 -22.4
2005 -15.1 -1.5 -9.3
2004 -3.0 13.2 3.9
2003 1.3 18.3 8.5
2002 7.7 24.5 14.9
2001 -5.0 12.8 2.5
2000 4.8 17.2 10.2
1999 26.4 38.1 31.6

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   January 2008 December 2008 January 2009 Percent Change Dec. 2008-Jan. 2009 Percent Change January 2008-2009
All Surface Modes Imports 23,752 17,821 15,655 -12.2 -34.1
Exports 18,290 15,072 13,317 -11.6 -27.2
Total 42,043 32,893 28,972 -11.9 -31.1
Truck Imports 11,584 9,047 7,956 -12.1 -31.3
Exports 13,922 11,488 10,133 -11.8 -27.2
Rail Imports 4,947 3,484 3,050 -12.4 -38.3
Exports 2,069 1,679 1,427 -15.0 -31.0
Pipeline Imports 5,984 4,378 3,800 -13.2 -36.5
Exports 353 217 321 47.9 -9.2

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 and other 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 January 2009 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank State January 2009
1 Illinois 2,625
2 Michigan 2,340
3 New York 1,972
4 Texas 1,818
5 Ohio 1,712
6 California 1,691
7 Washington 1,344
8 Pennsylvania 1,284
9 Minnesota 1,003
10 Tennessee 873

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   January 2008 December 2008 January 2009 Percent Change Dec. 2008-Jan. 2009 Percent Change January 2008-2009
All Surface Modes Imports 12,895 11,086 9,897 -10.7 -23.3
Exports 10,222 8,931 8,590 -3.8 -16.0
Total 23,117 20,017 18,487 -7.6 -20.0
Truck Imports 10,911 8,996 8,673 -3.6 -20.5
Exports 7,965 7,088 7,116 0.4 -10.7
Rail Imports 1,683 1,779 967 -45.7 -42.6
Exports 1,757 1,332 1,030 -22.7 -41.4
Pipeline Imports 22 6 8 41.8 -61.7
Exports 65 45 45 1.1 -30.9

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 and other 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 January 2009 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank State January 2009
1 Texas 6,342
2 California 3,207
3 Michigan 1,070
4 Arizona 933
5 Illinois 669
6 Ohio 541
7 Pennsylvania 347
8 North Carolina 325
9 Tennessee 321
10 Wisconsin 295

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