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August 2012 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 2.6 Percent From August 2011

August 2012 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 2.6 Percent From August 2011

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

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/
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 in press release text.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico, was 2.6 percent higher in August 2012 than in August 2011, totaling $82.5 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 August 2012 total was $60.5 billion in 2004 dollars, up 5.2 percent from August 2011.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the August 2012 value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico rose 52.0 percent from August 2009, shortly after the end of 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 August increased by 76.5 percent compared to August 2002, a period of 10 years. Imports in August were up 63.2 percent since August 2002, while exports were up 94.2 percent (Figure 2 and Table 3). See Transborder Press Releases for historical data.

Surface transportation includes freight movements by truck, rail, pipeline, mail, other modes of transport, and goods moving into Foreign Trade Zones. In August, 87.2 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moved via land, 8.9 percent moved by vessel, and 3.9 percent moved by air (Figure 3).

Figure 2: North American Freight by Mode, August 2012

Table Version | Excel | CSV

Figure 2: North American Freight by Mode, July 2012

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

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico increased 9.0 percent in August 2012 from July 2012 (Table 2). Month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations, the number of days in each month, and other factors.

Figure 3: U.S. Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico, Month of August 1995-2012
Unadjusted for Inflation and Exchange Rate Fluctuations

Table Version | Excel | CSV

Figure 3: U.S. Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico, Month of August 1995-2012

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

U.S.-Mexico August 2012 trade reached $35.5 billion, a 7.8 percent increase from August 2011, while U.S.-Canada trade was $47.0 billion, a 1.0 percent decrease due to a decrease in imports from Canada (Figure 3). For trade statistics by mode, see Table 4 for Canada and Table 6 for Mexico. For the 12-month period ending in August 2012, U.S. trade by surface transportation with Mexico has increased, while U.S. trade with Canada decreased.

In August, Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada, at $6.8 billion, a 5.8 percent increase from August 2011 (Table 5). Of the top 10 states by value in trade with Canada, California had the largest percentage increase over August 2011, at 21.0 percent, primarily due to a 71.4 percent increase in trade in vehicles

The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada by surface modes of transportation in August was vehicles, valued at $9.6 billion (Table 8).

Texas continued to lead all states in surface trade with Mexico at $13.1 billion, a 10.2 percent increase from August 2011. Of the top 10 states by value in trade with Mexico, North Carolina had the biggest percentage increase, 24.1 percent, closely followed by Michigan at 23.3 percent (Table 7). North Carolina had a 96.3 percent increase in electrical machinery trade, while Michigan had a 29.4 percent increase in trade in vehicles. The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico by surface modes of transportation in August was electrical machinery with $7.6 billion in trade (Table 9).

Technical Note: The BLS indexes used in the 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 September TransBorder numbers for Nov. 27.

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 82,601 11.0 6.6
July 61,260 72,363 75,694 18.1 4.6
August 67,964 80,406 82,480 18.3 2.6
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 517,851 596,465 643,825 15.2 7.9
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)

Excel | CSV

Mode   August 2011 July 2012 August 2012 Percent Change July 2012 - August 2012 Percent Change August 2011 - 2012
All Surface Modes Imports 42,685 40,126 43,673 8.8 2.3
Exports 37,722 35,568 38,808 9.1 2.9
Total 80,406 75,694 82,480 9.0 2.6
Truck Imports 26,684 25,103 27,464 9.4 2.9
Exports 29,328 27,292 29,905 9.6 2.0
Rail Imports 7,951 8,181 9,245 13.0 16.3
Exports 4,853 4,811 5,401 12.3 11.3
Pipeline Imports 6,492 5,446 5,384 -1.1 -17.1
Exports 861 750 632 -15.7 -26.6

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

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Compared to August in... Percent Change
Imports Exports Total Surface Trade
2011 2.3 2.9 2.6
2010 19.8 23.2 21.4
2009 51.3 52.8 52.0
2008 7.0 23.5 14.2
2007 11.0 30.2 19.3
2006 15.7 35.6 24.3
2005 26.6 51.1 37.0
2004 39.8 73.8 53.9
2003 68.2 103.5 83.2
2002 63.2 94.2 76.5

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

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Mode   August 2011 July 2012 August 2012 Percent Change July 2012 - August 2012 Percent Change August 2011 - 2012
All Surface Modes Imports 24,839 22,155 24,298 9.7 -2.2
Exports 22,648 20,792 22,695 9.2 0.2
Total 47,488 42,946 46,993 9.4 -1.0
Truck Imports 11,895 10,625 11,753 10.6 -1.2
Exports 17,406 15,558 17,311 11.3 -0.5
Rail Imports 5,281 4,967 5,971 20.2 13.1
Exports 2,608 2,728 3,061 12.2 17.3
Pipeline Imports 6,465 5,430 5,366 -1.2 -17.0
Exports 572 510 282 -44.8 -50.7

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

Ranked by August 2012 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

State August 2011 August 2012 Percent Change August 2011-2012
Value Rank Value Rank
Michigan 6,390 1 6,763 1 5.8
Illinois 5,156 2 4,391 2 -14.8
California 2,529 6 3,060 3 21.0
Ohio 2,970 3 2,894 4 -2.6
Texas 2,700 4 2,609 5 -3.4
New York 2,626 5 2,394 6 -8.8
Pennsylvania 1,893 7 1,973 7 4.2
Washington 1,824 8 1,609 8 -11.8
Indiana 1,584 10 1,607 9 1.5
Minnesota 1,653 9 1,563 10 -5.5

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)

Excel | CSV

Mode   August 2011 July 2012 August 2012 Percent Change July 2012 - August 2012 Percent Change August 2011 - 2012
All Surface Modes Imports 17,845 17,971 19,375 7.8 8.6
Exports 15,073 14,777 16,113 9.0 6.9
Total 32,919 32,748 35,487 8.4 7.8
Truck Imports 14,790 14,478 15,711 8.5 6.2
Exports 11,923 11,734 12,593 7.3 5.6
Rail Imports 2,670 3,215 3,274 1.8 22.6
Exports 2,244 2,083 2,340 12.4 4.3
Pipeline Imports 27 16 18 14.8 -33.1
Exports 289 240 351 46.4 21.2

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 August 2012 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

State August 2011 August 2012 Percent Change August 2011-2012
Value Rank Value Rank
Texas 11,873 1 13,079 1 10.2
California 4,892 2 4,746 2 -3.0
Michigan 3,470 3 4,278 3 23.3
Illinois 1,135 4 1,226 4 8.0
Arizona 819 6 948 5 15.8
Ohio 841 5 941 6 12.0
Tennessee 709 7 798 7 12.5
Indiana 611 8 684 8 11.9
North Carolina 532 9 660 9 24.1
Pennsylvania 464 10 458 10 -1.2

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, August 2012

(millions of dollars)

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Commodities Exports Imports Total
Vehicles Other than Rail Cars 4,360 5,217 9,576
Oil and Gas 840 6,857 7,697
Computer-Related Machinery and Parts 3,900 1,508 5,409
Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 1,874 510 2,384
Plastics 1,136 854 1,990

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

NOTE: Numbers August 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, August 2012

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Commodities Exports Imports Total
Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 2,818 4,759 7,576
Computer-Related Machinery and Parts 3,049 3,771 6,820
Vehicles Other than Rail Cars 1,848 4,432 6,280
Plastics 1,221 316 1,537
Measuring and Testing Instruments 398 886 1,285

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

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