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April 2011 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 12.1 Percent from April 2010

April 2011 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 12.1 Percent from April 2010

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BTS 33-11
Dave Smallen
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North American Surface Trade, May 2009 - April 2011

Table Version | Excel | CSV

North American Surface Trade, May 2009 - April 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico was 12.1 percent higher in April 2011 than in April 2010, reaching $73.8 billion (Table 1), according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico in April 2011 rose 48.3 percent in two years from April 2009 but remained 0.7 percent below the early recession level of April 2008 (Table 3). See Transborder Press Releases for historic data. Values in this press release are not adjusted for inflation.

Surface transportation includes freight movements by truck, rail, pipeline, mail, Foreign Trade Zones and other. In April, 84.7 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moved on land, 11.1 percent moved by vessel, and 4.2 percent moved by air.

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico in April was up 19.5 percent compared to April 2006, and up 57.6 percent compared to April 2001, a period of 10 years. Imports in April were up 48.3 percent compared to April 2001, while exports were up 70.0 percent (Table 3).

Freight value in April 2011 fell 8.7 percent from the previous month (Table 2). Month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations and other factors.

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada and Mexico

U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico surface transportation trade both increased when compared to April 2010 with U.S.-Canada totaling $44.6 billion, an 11.8 percent increase, and U.S.-Mexico totaling $29.1 billion, a 12.4 percent increase. For trade numbers by mode, see Table 4 for Canada and Table 6 for Mexico.

In April trade by state, Michigan continued to lead all states in surface trade with Canada at $5.8 billion, up 6.6 percent from April 2010 (Table 5). Texas continued to lead all states in surface trade with Mexico at $10.1 billion, up 10.8 percent from April 2010 (Table 7).

Commodity Trade

The top three commodities imported from Canada and Mexico have remained the same over the last year. The top three commodities imported from Canada by all land modes in April were mineral fuels, oils, and waxes; vehicles; and computer-related machinery and parts, totaling $12 billion (Table 8). The top three commodities imported from Mexico by all land modes in April were vehicles, computer-related machinery, and electrical machinery and parts, totaling $10.5 billion (Table 10).

The largest increase in U.S.-Canada commodity in the last year was mineral fuels, oils, and waxes, up 17.0 percent, and the largest increase in U.S.-Mexico trade was computer-related machinery and parts, up 18.2 percent (Tables 8 and 10).

Electrical machinery, vehicles, and computer-related machinery and parts are exported from the United States to be assembled in Canada and Mexico, and then imported back to the U.S. as finished goods.

The top three commodities exported to Canada and Mexico by all land modes are vehicles, computer-related machinery, and electrical machinery and parts, totaling $9.4 billion for Canada and $5.8 billion for Mexico. These top three commodities exported to Canada and Mexico remained the same over the last year. The commodities that increased the most in U.S.-Canada trade were computer-related machinery, up 16.6 percent, and in U.S.-Mexico trade were electrical machinery and parts, up 21.4 percent (Table 9 and Table 11).

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. April TransBorder numbers include data received by BTS as of June 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/programs/international/transborder/. BTS will release May TransBorder numbers on Aug. 2.

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Month 2009 2010 2011 Percent Change 2009-2010 Percent Change 2010-2011
January 47,459 56,697 67,734 19.5 19.5
February 47,938 59,492 66,534 24.1 11.8
March 51,055 69,943 80,822 37.0 15.6
April 49,729 65,831 73,767 32.4 12.1
May 47,881 66,805   39.5  
June 50,753 69,859   37.6  
July 51,545 61,260   18.8  
August 54,254 67,964   25.3  
September 57,294 68,324   19.3  
October 61,400 70,565   14.9  
November 58,922 68,060   15.5  
December 58,465 66,530   13.8  
Year-to-date 196,182 251,962 288,857 28.4 14.6
Annual 636,695 791,329   24.3  

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

Note: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding. Percent change 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   April 2010 March 2011 April 2011 Percent Change March - April 2011 Percent Change April 2010 - 2011
All Surface Modes Imports 35,785 43,409 39,543 -8.9 10.5
Exports 30,045 37,413 34,224 -8.5 13.9
Total 65,831 80,822 73,767 -8.7 12.1
Truck Imports 22,776 27,489 24,626 -10.4 8.1
Exports 23,404 29,036 26,329 -9.3 12.5
Rail Imports 7,222 8,358 8,199 -1.9 13.5
Exports 4,020 4,817 4,528 -6.0 12.6
Pipeline Imports 4,922 5,954 5,510 -7.5 11.9
Exports 380 729 981 34.5 158.2

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

Notes: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding. Percent change 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/programs/international/transborder/TBDR_DataFields.html.

Table 3. April 2011 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Compared with November of Prior Years

Excel | CSV

Compared to April in Percent Change
Imports Exports Total Surface Trade
2010 10.5 13.9 12.1
2009 48.0 48.7 48.3
2008 -6.4 6.6 -0.7
2007 7.1 21.8 13.5
2006 12.6 28.6 19.5
2005 19.1 36.4 26.5
2004 30.1 50.1 38.7
2003 49.0 68.5 57.5
2002 47.8 70.8 57.7
2001 48.3 70.0 57.6

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

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

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Mode   April 2010 March 2011 April 2011 Percent Change March - April 2011 Percent Change April 2010 - 2011
All Surface Modes Imports 20,908 25,379 23,120 -8.9 10.6
Exports 19,018 23,343 21,519 -7.8 13.1
Total 39,926 48,722 44,639 -8.4 11.8
Truck Imports 10,497 12,493 11,055 -11.5 5.3
Exports 14,654 18,077 16,465 -8.9 12.4
Rail Imports 4,892 5,722 5,678 -0.8 16.1
Exports 2,319 2,692 2,514 -6.6 8.4
Pipeline Imports 4,906 5,936 5,483 -7.6 11.8
Exports 293 400 692 72.9 136.0

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

Note: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding. Percent change 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/programs/international/transborder/TBDR_DataFields.html.

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

Ranked by April 2011 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

State April 2011 April 2010 Percent Change April 2010-2011
Value Rank Value Rank
Michigan 5,824 1 5,461 1 6.6
Illinois 4,507 2 3,535 2 27.5
Ohio 2,768 3 2,573 3 7.6
Texas 2,636 4 2,097 6 25.7
New York 2,596 5 2,449 5 6.0
California 2,450 6 2,524 4 -2.9
Washington 1,788 7 1,577 7 13.4
Pennsylvania 1,662 8 1,458 8 14.0
Indiana 1,572 9 1,413 9 11.3
Minnesota 1,261 10 851 12 48.2

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.

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Mode   April 2010 March 2011 April 2011 Percent Change March - April 2011 Percent Change April 2010 - 2011
All Surface Modes Imports 14,878 18,030 16,423 -8.9 10.4
Exports 11,027 14,070 12,705 -9.7 15.2
Total 25,905 32,099 29,128 -9.3 12.4
Truck Imports 12,279 14,996 13,572 -9.5 10.5
Exports 8,750 10,959 9,864 -10.0 12.7
Rail Imports 2,330 2,636 2,521 -4.4 8.2
Exports 1,700 2,125 2,014 -5.2 18.4
Pipeline Imports 16 18 26 47.3 65.5
Exports 87 329 289 -12.1 233.2

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

Note: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding. Percent change 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/programs/international/transborder/TBDR_DataFields.html

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

Ranked by April 2011 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

State April 2011 April 2010 Percent Change April 2010-2011
Value Rank Value Rank
Texas 10,132 1 9,144 1 10.8
California 4,202 2 3,866 2 8.7
Michigan 3,269 3 2,841 3 15.1
Illinois 1,062 4 824 5 28.8
Arizona 1,044 5 954 4 9.5
Ohio 804 6 690 6 16.4
Indiana 540 7 455 8 18.7
Tennessee 504 8 534 7 -5.6
Georgia 471 9 381 12 23.7
North Carolina 454 10 402 9 13.1

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

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

Table 8. Top 3 Commodities by Imports Value for U.S. - Canada Trade by All Land Modes

Ranked by April 2011 Imports Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank Commodity Code Commodity Description April 2010 April 2011 Percent Change April 2010-2011
Imports Value Percent of Total Imports Value Percent of Total
1 27 Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 5,466 26.1 6,395 27.7 17.0
2 87 Vehicles Other than Railway 3,922 18.8 4,169 18.0 6.3
3 84 Computer-Related Machinery and Parts 1,312 6.3 1,438 6.2 9.6
    Total, top 3 commodities 10,701 51.2 12,003 51.9 12.2
    Total, all commodities 20,908 100.0 23,120 100.0 10.6

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

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

Table 9. Top 3 Commodities by Exports Value for U.S. - Canada Trade by All Land Modes

Ranked by April 2011 Exports Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank Commodity Code Commodity Description April 2010 April 2011 Percent Change April 2010-2011
Exports Value Percent of Total Exports Value Percent of Total
1 87 Vehicles Other than Railway 3,951 20.8 4,163 19.3 5.37
2 84 Computer-Related Machinery and Parts 3,027 15.9 3,530 16.4 16.62
3 85 Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 1,502 7.9 1,716 8.0 14.29
    Total, top 3 commodities 8,479 44.6 9,409 43.7 11.0
    Total, all commodities 19,018 100.0 21,519 100.0 13.2

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

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

Table 10. Top 3 Commodities by Imports Value for U.S. - Mexico Trade by All Land Modes

Ranked by April 2011 Imports Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank Commodity Code Commodity Description April 2010 April 2011 Percent Change April 2010-2011
Imports Value Percent of Total Imports Value Percent of Total
1 85 Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 4,003 26.9 4,113 25.0 2.8
2 87 Vehicles Other than Railway 3,120 21.0 3,354 20.4 7.5
3 84 Computer-Related Machinery and Parts 2,584 17.4 3,055 18.6 18.2
    Total, top 3 commodities 9,706 65.2 10,522 64.1 8.4
    Total, all commodities 14,878 100.0 16,423 100.0 10.4

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

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

Table 11. Top 3 Commodities by Exports Value for U.S. - Mexico Trade by All Land Modes

Ranked by April 2011 Exports Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Rank Commodity Code Commodity Description April 2010 April 2011 Percent Change April 2010-2011
Exports Value Percent of Total Exports Value Percent of Total
1 85 Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 2,288 20.7 2,343 18.4 2.4
2 84 Computer-Related Machinery and Parts 1,828 16.6 2,218 17.5 21.4
3 87 Vehicles Other than Railway 1,150 10.4 1,248 9.8 8.5
    Total, top 3 commodities 5,266 47.8 5,809 45.7 10.3
    Total, all commodities 11,027 100.0 12,705 100.0 15.2

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

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