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July 2012 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 4.6 Percent From July 2011

July 2012 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 4.6 Percent From July 2011

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

Table Version | Excel | CSV

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

Thursday, September 27, 2012 - Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico, was 4.6 percent higher in July 2012 than in July 2011, totaling $75.7 billion, unadjusted for inflation (Table 1 and Figure 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 4.6 percent annual increase is the lowest year-to-year rise since increases resumed in December 2009 following the recession. The lower growth rate reflects the reduced cost of oil and gas, the largest commodity traded by value. Adjusted for inflation and exchange rates, the July 2012 total was $56.0 billion in 2004 dollars, up 8.8 percent from July 2011.

The July 2012 value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico rose 5.7 percent from July 2008 during the last recession (Table 3). Data in the press release are not adjusted for inflation, except for monthly totals in Figure 1.

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico in July increased by 82.8 percent compared to July 2002, a period of 10 years. Imports in July were up 66.7 percent since July 2002, while exports were up 105.1 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 July, 86.3 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moved via land, 10.0 percent moved by vessel, and 3.7 percent moved by air (Figure 2).

Figure 2: North American Freight by Mode, July 2012

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Figure 2: North American Freight by Mode, July 2012

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico decreased 8.4 percent in July 2012 from June 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 July 2012 both increased compared to July 2011 with U.S.-Canada trade reaching $42.9 billion, a 1.0 percent increase, and U.S.-Mexico trade reaching $32.7 billion, a 9.7 percent increase. For trade statistics by mode, see Table 4 for Canada and Table 6 for Mexico.

In July, Illinois led all states in surface trade with Canada, at $4.9 billion, a 9.3 percent increase from July 2011 (Table 5). This is the first time that Illinois has surpassed Michigan in surface trade with Canada since July 2009. Many automotive plants in Michigan retool their production facilities in July for the upcoming model year, which reduces Michigan trade with Canada, as much of that trade is in automobiles and auto parts.

The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada by surface modes of transportation in July was oil and gas, valued at $7.9 billion (Table 8). Oil and gas displaced vehicles as the top commodity in July, due to auto plant retooling in July.

Texas continued to lead all states in surface trade with Mexico at $11.9 billion, an 11.8 percent increase from July 2011. Of the top 10 states by value, Tennessee had the biggest percentage increase, 31.7 percent (Table 7). The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico by surface modes of transportation in July was electrical machinery with $6.7 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 August TransBorder numbers for Oct. 30.

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

(millions of current U.S. 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 82,601 11.0 6.6
July 61,260 72,363 75,694 18.1 4.6
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 449,886 516,059 561,345 14.7 8.8
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 current U.S. dollars)

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Mode   July 2011 June 2012 July 2012 Percent Change June 2012 - July 2012 Percent Change July 2011 - 2012
All Surface Modes Imports 38,788 44,079 40,126 -9.0 3.4
Exports 33,576 38,523 35,568 -7.7 5.9
Total 72,363 82,601 75,694 -8.4 4.6
Truck Imports 23,695 27,690 25,103 -9.3 5.9
Exports 25,872 29,853 27,292 -8.6 5.5
Rail Imports 7,644 9,356 8,181 -12.6 7.0
Exports 4,389 5,282 4,811 -8.9 9.6
Pipeline Imports 6,349 5,549 5,446 -1.9 -14.2
Exports 796 675 750 11.0 -5.7

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. July 2012 Surface Transportation Trade with Canada and Mexico Compared with July of Prior Years

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Compared to July in... Percent Change
Imports Exports Total Surface Trade
2011 3.4 5.9 4.6
2010 23.5 23.7 23.6
2009 45.3 48.6 46.9
2008 -0.3 13.3 5.7
2007 14.2 33.3 22.4
2006 25.1 49.0 35.3
2005 39.8 69.5 52.3
2004 42.5 78.4 57.4
2003 62.7 98.2 77.7
2002 66.7 105.1 82.8

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

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

(millions of current U.S. dollars)

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Mode   July 2011 June 2012 July 2012 Percent Change June 2012 - July 2012 Percent Change July 2011 - 2012
All Surface Modes Imports 22,374 24,764 22,155 -10.5 -1.0
Exports 20,138 23,630 20,792 -12.0 3.2
Total 42,512 48,394 42,946 -11.3 1.0
Truck Imports 10,422 12,049 10,625 -11.8 1.9
Exports 15,304 18,080 15,558 -13.9 1.7
Rail Imports 4,806 6,039 4,967 -17.8 3.3
Exports 2,335 3,008 2,728 -9.3 16.8
Pipeline Imports 6,318 5,523 5,430 -1.7 -14.0
Exports 563 455 510 12.1 -9.3

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 July 2012 Surface Trade Value

(millions of current U.S. dollars)

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State July 2011 July 2012 Percent Change July 2011-2012
Value Rank Value Rank
Illinois 4,474 2 4,892 1 9.3
Michigan 4,524 1 4,558 2 0.7
California 2,213 6 2,856 3 29.0
Ohio 2,392 4 2,614 4 9.3
Texas 2,374 5 2,585 5 8.9
New York 2,435 3 2,180 6 -10.5
Washington 1,696 8 1,747 7 3.0
Pennsylvania 1,753 7 1,539 8 -12.3
Minnesota 1,548 9 1,515 9 -2.1
Indiana 1,352 10 1,448 10 7.1

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 6. U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Mexico

(millions of current U.S. dollars)

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Mode   July 2011 June 2012 July 2012 Percent Change June 2012 - July 2012 Percent Change July 2011 - 2012
All Surface Modes Imports 16,413 19,314 17,971 -7.0 9.5
Exports 13,438 14,893 14,777 -0.8 10.0
Total 29,851 34,207 32,748 -4.3 9.7
Truck Imports 13,273 15,641 14,478 -7.4 9.1
Exports 10,568 11,773 11,734 -0.3 11.0
Rail Imports 2,838 3,317 3,215 -3.1 13.3
Exports 2,053 2,274 2,083 -8.4 1.4
Pipeline Imports 31 27 16 -41.5 -50.6
Exports 233 220 240 8.9 3.0

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. 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 July 2012 Surface Trade Value

(millions of current U.S. dollars)

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State July 2011 July 2012 Percent Change July 2011-2012
Value Rank Value Rank
Texas 10,726 1 11,988 1 11.8
California 4,498 2 4,553 2 1.2
Michigan 3,308 3 3,897 3 17.8
Illinois 1,072 4 1,145 4 6.8
Arizona 779 5 909 5 16.7
Ohio 753 6 890 6 18.3
Tennessee 545 8 717 7 31.7
Indiana 550 7 564 8 2.6
North Carolina 496 9 549 9 10.7
Wisconsin 388 12 440 10 13.6

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, July 2012

(millions of current U.S. dollars)

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Commodities Exports Imports Total
Oil and Gas 1,091 6,869 7,960
Vehicles Other than Railway 3,367 3,374 6,741
Computer-Related Machinery and Parts 3,522 1,435 4,956
Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 1,704 498 2,202
Plastics 1,112 833 1,946

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 July 20, 2012.

NOTE: Numbers July 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, July 2012

(millions of current U.S. dollars)

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Commodities Exports Imports Total
Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 2,575 4,093 6,668
Computer-Related Machinery and Parts 2,822 3,564 6,386
Vehicles Other than Railway 1,606 4,309 5,915
Plastics 1,151 313 1,464
Measuring and Testing Instruments 385 839 1,225

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

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