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May 2012 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 8.3 Percent From May 2011

May 2012 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 8.3 Percent From May 2011

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Figure 1: Trade Among the U.S. and NAFTA Countries, May 2007-May 2012
Unadjusted and Adjusted for Inflation and Exchange Rate Fluctuations

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Figure 1: Trade Among the U.S. and NAFTA Countries, May 2007-May 2012.

U.S. export data adjusted based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Exports by End Use Category for All Commodities. U.S. imports adjusted based on BLS U.S. Import Price Indexes for Canada and Mexico. January 2004 = 100. See Technical Note.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico, was 8.3 percent higher in May 2012 than in May 2011, totaling $83.8 billion, unadjusted for inflation (Table 1 and Figure 1), according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Adjusted for inflation and exchange rates, the May 2012 total was $60.7 billion in 2004 dollars, up 11.7 percent from May 2011.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the May 2012 value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico rose 13.0 percent from May 2008, six months into the recession, and 75.0 percent from May 2009, late in the recession (Table 3). Data in the press release are not adjusted for inflation, except for Figure 1.

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico in May increased by 72.6 percent compared to May 2002, a period of 10 years. Imports in May were up 62.5 percent since May 2002, while exports were up 85.9 percent (Table 3). See Transborder Press Releases for historical data.

Surface transportation includes freight movements by truck, rail, pipeline, mail, Foreign Trade Zones, and other modes of transport.In May, 86.5 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moved via land, 9.6 percent moved by vessel, and 3.8 percent moved by air (Figure 2).

Figure 2: North American Freight by Mode, May 2012

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Figure 2: North American Freight by Mode, May 2012

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico increased 5.0 percent in May 2012 from April 2012 (Table 2). Month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations and other factors.

U.S. trade by surface transportation with Mexico has increased at a faster pace than trade with Canada. U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico surface transportation trade in May 2012 both increased compared to May 2011 with U.S.-Canada trade reaching $48.1 billion, a 4.0 percent increase, and U.S.-Mexico trade reaching $35.6 billion, a 14.9 percent increase. For trade statistics by mode, see Table 4 for Canada and Table 6 for Mexico.

In May , Michigan led All states in surface trade with Canada, at $6.5 billion, a 2.6 percent increase from May 2011 (Table 5). Of the top 10 states by value, California had the largest percentage increase over May 2011, at 29.7 percent.

The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada by surface modes of transportation in May was vehicles, valued at $9.5 billion (Table 8).

Texas continued to lead All states in surface trade with Mexico at $12.9 billion, a 15.6 percent increase from May 2011. This amount is the highest on record, surpassing the $12.6 billion in Texas Mexico trade in March 2012. Of the top 10 states by value, North Carolina had the biggest percentage increase, 39.1 percent (Table 7), primarily because of a $59 million increase from May 2011 in the export of inorganic chemicals. The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico by surface modes of transportation in May was electrical machinery with $7.6 billion in trade (Table 9).

Technical Note: The BLS indexes used for Figure 1 adjustment May be revised in each of the three months after original publication. For example, index values released in January 2012 will be subject to revision in February, March and April of that year.

For more information, see Transborder Press Releases for previous press releases and summary tables. See TransBorder Freight Data for data from previous months, and individual state data. BTS has scheduled the release of June TransBorder numbers for Aug. 28.

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

(millions of dollars)

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Month 2010 2011 2012 Percent Change 2010-2011 Percent Change 2011-2012
January 56,697 67,734 75,534 19.5 11.5
February 59,492 66,534 78,135 11.8 17.4
March 69,943 80,822 85,827 15.6 6.2
April 65,831 73,767 79,784 12.1 8.2
May 66,805 77,318 83,770 15.7 8.3
June 69,859 77,521   11.0  
July 61,260 72,363   18.1  
August 67,964 80,406   18.3  
September 68,324 77,725   13.8  
October 70,565 79,040   12.0  
November 68,060 76,672   12.7  
December 66,530 74,230   11.6  
Year-to-date 318,767 366,174 403,049 14.9 10.1
Annual 791,329 904,133   14.3  

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://www.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

NOTE: Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding. Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

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

(millions of dollars)

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Mode   May 2011 April 2012 May 2012 Percent Change April 2012 – May 2012 Percent Change May 2011 - 2012
All Surface Modes Imports 41,574 42,856 44,807 4.6 7.8
Exports 35,744 36,928 38,963 5.5 9.0
Total 77,318 79,784 83,770 5.0 8.3
Truck Imports 26,156 26,791 29,372 9.6 12.3
Exports 27,275 28,419 30,452 7.2 11.6
Rail Imports 8,302 8,807 8,363 -5.0 0.7
Exports 4,931 5,156 5,042 -2.2 2.2
Pipeline Imports 6,096 6,035 5,515 -8.6 -9.5
Exports 1,021 771 645 -16.3 -36.9

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://www.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

NOTES: Numbers might 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, please refer to the Data Fields section of the TransBorder web page: http://www.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/TBDR_DataFields.html

Table 3. May 2012 Surface Transportation Trade with Canada and Mexico Compared with May of Prior Years

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Compared to May in... Percent Change
Imports Exports Total Surface Trade
2011 7.8 9.0 8.3
2010 23.9 27.1 25.4
2009 75.1 74.8 75.0
2008 8.3 19.0 13.0
2007 15.1 27.7 20.7
2006 20.3 35.6 26.9
2005 37.9 53.6 44.8
2004 48.4 69.7 57.6
2003 61.6 84.9 71.6
2002 62.5 85.9 72.6

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://www.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

Table 4. U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada

(millions of dollars)

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Mode   May 2011 April 2012 May 2012 Percent Change April 2012 - May 2012 Percent Change May 2011 - 2012
All Surface Modes Imports 24,060 24,667 24,772 0.4 3.0
Exports 22,229 22,483 23,353 3.9 5.1
Total 46,288 47,150 48,125 2.1 4.0
Truck Imports 11,769 11,876 12,669 6.7 7.6
Exports 16,808 17,116 18,064 5.5 7.5
Rail Imports 5,561 5,873 5,452 -7.2 -2.0
Exports 2,760 2,841 2,740 -3.6 -0.7
Pipeline Imports 6,077 6,016 5,496 -8.6 -9.6
Exports 701 529 367 -30.6 -47.6

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://www.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

NOTES: Numbers might 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, please 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 All Surface Modes of Transportation

Ranked by May 2012 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

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State May 2011 May 2012 Percent Change May 2011-2012
Value Rank Value Rank
Michigan 6,315 1 6,479 1 2.6
Illinois 4,687 2 4,727 2 0.8
Ohio 2,811 3 3,081 3 9.6
California 2,204 6 2,858 4 29.7
Texas 2,504 5 2,798 5 11.7
New York 2,644 4 2,480 6 -6.2
Pennsylvania 1,653 8 1,813 7 9.7
Indiana 1,565 9 1,764 8 12.8
Minnesota 1,524 10 1,752 9 14.9
Washington 1,678 7 1,577 10 -6.0

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

NOTES: Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding. Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 6. U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Mexico

(millions of dollars)

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Mode   May 2011 April 2012 May 2012 Percent Change April 2012 - May 2012 Percent Change May 2011 - 2012
All Surface Modes Imports 17,514 18,189 20,035 10.2 14.4
Exports 13,515 14,444 15,609 8.1 15.5
Total 31,029 32,633 35,645 9.2 14.9
Truck Imports 14,387 14,915 16,703 12.0 16.1
Exports 10,467 11,303 12,388 9.6 18.4
Rail Imports 2,741 2,934 2,911 -0.8 6.2
Exports 2,170 2,315 2,302 -0.6 6.0
Pipeline Imports 19 20 20 -1.8 5.7
Exports 321 242 278 14.9 -13.3

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

NOTES: Numbers might 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, please 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 All Surface Modes of Transportation

Ranked by May 2012 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

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State May 2011 May 2012 Percent Change May 2011-2012
Value Rank Value Rank
Texas 11,157 1 12,902 1 15.6
California 4,342 2 5,194 2 19.6
Michigan 3,387 3 4,049 3 19.6
Arizona 1,188 4 1,290 4 8.6
Illinois 1,142 5 1,209 5 5.9
Ohio 818 6 950 6 16.2
Tennessee 571 7 732 7 28.1
North Carolina 476 10 662 8 39.1
Indiana 538 8 645 9 19.9
Pennsylvania 419 12 470 10 12.2

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

NOTE: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding

Table 8. Top Five Commodities Transported between the U.S. and Canada by All Surface Modes of Transportation, May 2012

(millions of dollars)

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Commodities Exports Imports Total
Vehicles Other than Railway 4,665 4,786 9,452
Oil and Gas 947 6,717 7,663
Computer-Related Machinery and Parts 3,939 1,714 5,653
Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 1,879 572 2,451
Plastics 1,147 882 2,030

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, based on Transborder Freight Data, available at http://www.bts.gov/transborder/, as of May 20, 2012.

NOTE: Numbers May not add to totals due to rounding.

Table 9. Top Five Commodities Transported between the U.S. and Mexico by All Surface Modes of Transportation, May 2012

(millions of dollars)

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Commodities Exports Imports Total
Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 2,783 4,819 7,602
Computer-Related Machinery and Parts 3,047 4,017 7,064
Vehicles Other than Railway 1,724 4,080 5,803
Plastics 1,203 347 1,550
Measuring and Testing Instruments 387 911 1,298

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration,Bureau of Transportation Statistics, based on Transborder Freight Data, available at http://www.bts.gov/transborder/, as of May 13, 2012.

NOTE: Numbers May not add to totals due to rounding.