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February 2009 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Fell 30.9 Percent from February 2008

February 2009 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Fell 30.9 Percent from February 2008

(State Rankings in Tables 5 and 7)

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BTS 20-09
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Thursday, April 30, 2009 - Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico was 30.9 percent lower in February 2009 than in February 2008, dropping to $47.9 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). February was the fourth consecutive month with a yearly decline of greater than 13 percent. 

During the first two months of 2009, the value of surface trade dropped 29.1 percent compared to the first two months of 2008.

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico rose 1.0 percent in February 2009 from January 2009 (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 February was down 0.5 percent compared to February 2004, a period of five years, and up 24.3 percent compared to February 1999, a period of 10 years (Table 3). Imports in February were up 19.5 percent compared to February 1999, while exports were up 30.3 percent.

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada

U.S.Canada surface transportation trade totaled $29.8 billion in February, down 33.8 percent compared to February 2008 (Table 4). The value of imports carried by truck was 32.0 percent lower in February 2009 compared to February 2008, while the value of exports carried by truck was 28.1 percent lower during this period.

Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada in February with $3.1 billion (Table 5).

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Mexico

U.S.Mexico surface transportation trade totaled $18.1 billion in February, down 25.7 percent compared to February 2008 (Table 6). The value of imports carried by truck was 26.4 percent lower in February 2009 than February 2008 while the value of exports carried by truck was 15.4 percent lower.

Texas led all states in surface trade with Mexico in February with $6.1 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. February TransBorder numbers include data received by BTS as of April 9.

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 March TransBorder numbers on May 28.

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 47,938 16.3 -30.9
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  
2-month total 120,316 134,566 95,398 11.8 -29.1
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   February 2008 January 2009 February 2009 Percent Change Jan. 2009-Feb. 2009 Percent Change February 2008-2009
All Surface Modes Imports 39,533 25,552 25,586 0.1 -35.3
Exports 29,874 21,907 22,352 2.0 -25.2
Total 69,406 47,459 47,938 1.0 -30.9
Truck Imports 24,013 16,629 16,981 2.1 -29.3
Exports 22,522 17,249 17,199 -0.3 -23.6
Rail Imports 7,524 4,017 4,279 6.5 -43.1
Exports 4,257 2,457 2,661 8.3 -37.5
Pipeline Imports 6,738 3,809 3,277 -14.0 -51.4
Exports 354 366 508 38.9 43.5

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

Excel | CSV

Compared to February in… Percent Change
Imports Exports Total Surface Trade
2008 -35.3 -25.2 -30.9
2007 -24.7 -13.0 -19.7
2006 -26.1 -11.3 -19.8
2005 -17.0 -1.7 -10.5
2004 -8.1 10.0 -0.5
2003 0.6 21.4 9.4
2002 6.7 26.1 14.9
2001 0.9 14.8 6.9
2000 0.9 8.8 4.4
1999 19.5 30.3 24.3

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   February 2008 January 2009 February 2009 Percent Change Jan. 2009-Feb. 2009 Percent Change February 2008-2009
All Surface Modes Imports 25,600 15,655 15,630 -0.2 -38.9
Exports 19,398 13,317 14,165 6.4 -27.0
Total 44,998 28,972 29,795 2.8 -33.8
Truck Imports 12,536 7,956 8,528 7.2 -32.0
Exports 14,636 10,133 10,529 3.9 -28.1
Rail Imports 5,364 3,050 3,026 -0.8 -43.6
Exports 2,438 1,427 1,512 6.0 -38.0
Pipeline Imports 6,724 3,800 3,270 -14.0 -51.4
Exports 273 321 466 45.3 70.8

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

Ranked by February 2009 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank State February 2009
1 Michigan 3,090
2 Illinois 2,533
3 New York 2,195
4 California 1,751
5 Ohio 1,691
6 Texas 1,632
7 Washington 1,300
8 Pennsylvania 1,267
9 Indiana 898
10 Minnesota 879

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   February 2008 January 2009 February 2009 Percent Change Jan. 2009-Feb. 2009 Percent Change February 2008-2009
All Surface Modes Imports 13,933 9,897 9,956 0.6 -28.5
Exports 10,476 8,590 8,187 -4.7 -21.8
Total 24,409 18,487 18,143 -1.9 -25.7
Truck Imports 11,477 8,673 8,453 -2.5 -26.4
Exports 7,886 7,116 6,670 -6.3 -15.4
Rail Imports 2,159 967 1,253 29.6 -42.0
Exports 1,819 1,030 1,149 11.6 -36.8
Pipeline Imports 14 8 7 -16.8 -50.0
Exports 81 45 42 -6.1 -48.0

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, 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 February 2009 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank State February 2009
1 Texas 6,140
2 California 3,046
3 Michigan 1,378
4 Arizona 766
5 Illinois 693
6 Ohio 521
7 Tennessee 356
8 North Carolina 339
9 Pennsylvania 310
10 Wisconsin 287

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