St. Lawrence Seaway cargo volumes slower in September due to late harvests

The Chamber of Marine Commerce reports that September St. Lawrence Seaway cargo shipments were sustained by road salt, iron ore exports and general cargo such as aluminum and wind energy components. However, overall Seaway volumes were slower due in part to the late Prairie harvest.

From March 22 to September 30, Seaway cargo shipments totaled 24.8 million tonnes, down 6 per cent from 2018. The figures reflect a combination of factors including the decrease in U.S. grain exports from earlier in the spring and current delays in the Canadian harvest due to the wet field conditions.

Aluminum ingot shipments from Canada to the United States remain up from 2018, following the lifting of American tariffs last year and dry bulk continues to be a strong category due to salt shipments.

Terence Bowles, President and CEO of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, said: “Seaway activity remains at elevated levels in terms of both domestic and ocean ships currently in the system.”

“As the final quarter of the year is characterized by a burst of shipping activity, we are looking forward to a steady level of demand throughout October, November, and December as industrial and agricultural shippers race to meet their clients’ demands. Despite some inclement weather in Western Canada, volumes should increase as the grain harvest comes to market.”

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