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September 2012 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Fell 0.1 Percent From September 2011

September 2012 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Fell 0.1 Percent From September 2011

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Figure 1: Trade Among the U.S. and NAFTA Countries, January 2004-September 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, January 2004-September 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, November 27, 2012 - Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico, was 0.1 percent lower in September 2012 than in September 2011, totaling $77.7 billion, unadjusted for inflation (Table 1 and Figure 1), according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation. This is the first year over year decrease since November 2009. Adjusted for inflation and exchange rates, the September 2012 total was $56.3 billion in 2004 dollars, up 1.4 percent from September 2011.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the September 2012 value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico rose 35.6 percent from September 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 September increased by 69.6 percent compared to September 2002, a period of 10 years. Imports in September were up 57.4 percent since September 2002, while exports were up 85.9 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 September, 86.4 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moved via land, 9.5 percent moved by vessel, and 4.1 percent moved by air (Figure 3).

Figure 2: North American Freight by Mode, September 2012

Table Version | Excel | CSV

Figure 2: North American Freight by Mode, September 2012

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

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico decreased 5.8 percent in September 2012 from August 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 September 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 September 1995-2012

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

U.S.-Mexico September 2012 trade reached $32.0 billion, a 1.2 percent increase from September 2011, while U.S.-Canada trade was $45.7 billion, a 0.9 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 September 2012, U.S. trade by surface transportation with Mexico has increased, while U.S. trade with Canada decreased.

In September, Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada, at $6.1 billion, a 2.9 percent increase from September 2011 (Table 5). Of the top 10 states by value in trade with Canada, six of them had a year-to-year decrease in trade, led by Pennsylvania with a 17.2 percent decrease, primarily due to declines of more than 25 percent in trade in iron and steel, paper, pharmaceutical products, and oil and gas.

The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada by surface modes of transportation in September was vehicles, valued at $8.9 billion (Table 8).

Texas continued to lead all states in surface trade with Mexico at $11.6 billion, a 4.5 percent increase from September 2011. Of the top 10 states by value in trade with Mexico, Michigan had the biggest percentage increase, 10.5 percent, and California had the largest percentage decrease, 13.1 percent (Table 7). The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico by surface modes of transportation in September was electrical machinery with $7.1 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 were 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 77,680 13.8 -0.1
October 70,565 79,040   12.0  
November 68,060 76,672   12.7  
December 66,530 74,230   11.6  
Year-to-date 586,175 674,190 721,505 15.0 7.0
Annual 791,329 904,133   14.3  

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://www.bts.gov/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   September 2011 August 2012 September 2012 Percent Change August 2012 - September 2012 Percent Change September 2011 - 2012
All Surface Modes Imports 41,914 43,673 41,238 -5.6 -1.6
Exports 35,811 38,808 36,442 -6.1 1.8
Total 77,725 82,480 77,680 -5.8 -0.1
Truck Imports 26,250 27,464 25,523 -7.1 -2.8
Exports 27,824 29,905 27,647 -7.5 -0.6
Rail Imports 8,597 9,245 8,979 -2.9 4.4
Exports 4,688 5,401 5,052 -6.5 7.8
Pipeline Imports 5,917 5,384 4,977 -7.6 -15.9
Exports 767 632 988 56.2 28.9

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

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Compared to September in... Percent Change
Imports Exports Total Surface Trade
2011 -1.6 1.8 -0.1
2010 12.8 14.8 13.7
2009 33.8 37.6 35.6
2008 2.3 15.7 8.2
2007 9.8 24.8 16.3
2006 13.8 34.7 22.7
2005 16.2 41.9 27.0
2004 31.1 55.4 41.5
2003 46.8 75.5 59.0
2002 57.4 85.9 69.6

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

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

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Mode   September 2011 August 2012 September 2012 Percent Change August 2012 - September 2012 Percent Change September 2011 - 2012
All Surface Modes Imports 24,482 24,298 23,572 -3.0 -3.7
Exports 21,637 22,695 22,120 -2.5 2.2
Total 46,119 46,993 45,692 -2.8 -0.9
Truck Imports 11,965 11,753 11,294 -3.9 -5.6
Exports 16,712 17,311 16,598 -4.1 -0.7
Rail Imports 5,730 5,971 5,856 -1.9 2.2
Exports 2,553 3,061 2,804 -8.4 9.8
Pipeline Imports 5,884 5,366 4,964 -7.5 -15.6
Exports 432 282 695 146.7 60.7

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

Ranked by September 2012 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

State September 2011 September 2012 Percent Change September 2011-2012
Value Rank Value Rank
Michigan 5,958 1 6,128 1 2.9
Illinois 4,423 2 4,617 2 4.4
California 2,798 4 3,030 3 8.3
Texas 2,623 6 2,743 4 4.6
Ohio 2,892 3 2,728 5 -5.7
New York 2,634 5 2,251 6 -14.6
Washington 1,732 8 1,605 7 -7.3
Pennsylvania 1,905 7 1,577 8 -17.2
Minnesota 1,610 9 1,515 9 -5.9
Indiana 1,477 10 1,460 10 -1.1

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   September 2011 August 2012 September 2012 Percent Change August 2012 - September 2012 Percent Change September 2011 - 2012
All Surface Modes Imports 17,432 19,375 17,667 -8.8 1.3
Exports 14,174 16,113 14,322 -11.1 1.0
Total 31,606 35,487 31,989 -9.9 1.2
Truck Imports 14,284 15,711 14,229 -9.4 -0.4
Exports 11,113 12,593 11,049 -12.3 -0.6
Rail Imports 2,866 3,274 3,123 -4.6 8.9
Exports 2,134 2,340 2,248 -3.9 5.3
Pipeline Imports 33 18 13 -25.6 -59.2
Exports 334 351 293 -16.5 -12.3

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 September 2012 Surface Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

State September 2011 September 2012 Percent Change September 2011-2012
Value Rank Value Rank
Texas 11,068 1 11,569 1 4.5
California 4,825 2 4,194 2 -13.1
Michigan 3,636 3 4,017 3 10.5
Illinois 1,017 4 1,089 4 7.1
Arizona 834 6 867 5 4.0
Ohio 867 5 858 6 -1.0
Tennessee 653 7 709 7 8.6
Indiana 607 8 560 8 -7.7
North Carolina 518 10 559 9 7.9
Georgia 430 12 433 10 0.9

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, September 2012

(millions of dollars)

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Commodities Exports Imports Total
Vehicles Other than Railway 3,996 4,918 8,914
Oil and Gas 1,257 6,268 7,524
Computer-Related Machinery and Parts 3,654 1,562 5,217
Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 2,005 519 2,524
Plastics 1,045 830 1,875

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

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, September 2012

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

Commodities Exports Imports Total
Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 2,491 4,585 7,076
Vehicles Other than Railway 1,650 4,168 5,819
Computer-Related Machinery and Parts 2,656 3,031 5,687
Plastics 1,114 285 1,399
Measuring and Testing Instruments 379 795 1,174

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

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