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North American Surface Trade Numbers for March

North American Surface Trade Numbers for March

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BTS 27-09
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Thursday, May 28, 2009 - Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico was 27.9 percent lower in March 2009 than in March 2008, dropping to $51.1 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (Table 1). March was the third consecutive month with a yearly decline of greater than 27 percent.

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico rose 6.5 percent in March 2009 from February 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 March was down 9.3 percent compared to March 2004, and up 17.4 percent compared to March 1999, a period of 10 years (Table 3). Imports in March were up 11.9 percent compared to March 1999, while exports were up 24.3 percent.

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada

U.S.Canada surface transportation trade totaled $31.0 billion in March, down 34.2 percent compared to March 2008 (Table 4). The value of imports carried by truck was 26.8 percent lower in March 2009 compared to March 2008, while the value of exports carried by truck was 25.1 percent lower during this period.

Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada in March with $3.2 billion (Table 5).

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Mexico

U.S.Mexico surface transportation trade totaled $20.0 billion in March, down 15.1 percent compared to March 2008 (Table 6). The value of imports carried by truck was 15.5 percent lower in March 2009 than March 2008 while the value of exports carried by truck was 6.4 percent lower.

Texas led all states in surface trade with Mexico in March with $6.8 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. March TransBorder numbers include data received by BTS as of May 12.

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 July 1.

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 51,055 1.5 -27.9
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  
Year-to-date 190,083 205,353 146,453 8.0 -28.7
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   March 2008 February 2009 March 2009 Percent Change Feb. 2009-March 2009 Percent Change March 2008-2009
All Surface Modes Imports 40,089 25,586 27,171 6.2 -32.2
Exports 30,698 22,352 23,884 6.9 -22.2
Total 70,787 47,938 51,055 6.5 -27.9
Truck Imports 23,835 16,981 18,707 10.2 -21.5
Exports 23,353 17,199 18,931 10.1 -18.9
Rail Imports 8,065 4,279 4,613 7.8 -42.8
Exports 4,281 2,661 2,746 3.2 -35.9
Pipeline Imports 6,657 3,277 2,907 -11.3 -56.3
Exports 671 508 285 -43.8 -57.4

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. March 2009 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
2008 -32.2 -22.2 -27.9
2007 -31.9 -20.0 -26.8
2006 -29.3 -19.8 -25.2
2005 -19.2 -7.5 -14.1
2004 -15.1 -1.5 -9.3
2003 -5.3 15.5 3.4
2002 3.7 23.1 12.0
2001 -4.7 10.0 1.6
2000 -5.8 1.6 -2.5
1999 11.9 24.3 17.4

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   March 2008 February 2009 March 2009 Percent Change Feb. 2009-March 2009 Percent Change March 2008-2009
All Surface Modes Imports 26,465 15,630 15,942 2.0 -39.8
Exports 20,750 14,165 15,106 6.6 -27.2
Total 47,216 29,795 31,048 4.2 -34.2
Truck Imports 12,729 8,528 9,323 9.3 -26.8
Exports 15,645 10,529 11,715 11.3 -25.1
Rail Imports 5,854 3,026 3,020 -0.2 -48.4
Exports 2,606 1,512 1,609 6.4 -38.3
Pipeline Imports 6,642 3,270 2,900 -11.3 -56.3
Exports 586 466 247 -47.0 -57.9

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 March 2009 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank State March 2009
1 Michigan 3,190
2 Illinois 2,581
3 New York 2,022
4 California 1,899
5 Ohio 1,836
6 Texas 1,794
7 Pennsylvania 1,284
8 Washington 1,171
9 Indiana 965
10 Tennessee 913

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   March 2008 February 2009 March 2009 Percent Change Feb. 2009-March 2009 Percent Change March 2008-2009
All Surface Modes Imports 13,624 9,956 11,230 12.8 -17.6
Exports 9,948 8,187 8,778 7.2 -11.8
Total 23,571 18,143 20,007 10.3 -15.1
Truck Imports 11,106 8,453 9,383 11.0 -15.5
Exports 7,707 6,670 7,216 8.2 -6.4
Rail Imports 2,211 1,253 1,593 27.2 -27.9
Exports 1,675 1,149 1,137 -1.1 -32.1
Pipeline Imports 15 7 7 5.9 -51.7
Exports 85 42 39 -8.4 -54.1

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 March 2009 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank State March 2009
1 Texas 6,811
2 California 3,366
3 Michigan 1,697
4 Arizona 820
5 Illinois 749
6 Ohio 556
7 Tennessee 373
8 North Carolina 358
9 Pennsylvania 348
10 New Jersey 327

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