Great Lakes-Seaway cargo volumes improve in June, Canadian grain exports lead way

Canadian ports and the St. Lawrence Seaway reported improving cargo shipments in June fueled by grain exports, agricultural inputs and a recovery in construction materials.

 The Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) is also beginning to see some commodities rebound into positive growth territory within their network of ports, such as gypsum, finished steel, fertilizer and potash for use on southern Ontario farmland. The year-to-date totals for these agricultural-sector commodities were up about 9 per cent through June compared to the same period last year.

“The fact that we are seeing more fertilizer coming through the ports of Hamilton and Oshawa is a good signal of confidence in the region’s agricultural production going forward,” said Ian Hamilton, HOPA Ports’ President & CEO. “We expect to see this translate into accelerated exports of Ontario grain and soybeans later in the season.”  

The St. Lawrence Seaway reported that cargo tonnage from April 1 through June 30 through the bi-national transportation corridor totaled nearly 11.7 million metric tons.  While these volumes are down 8 per cent compared to the same time period in 2019, cargo shipments improved in June narrowing the year-over-year decline.

“Canadian grain exports through our trade corridor accelerated in June but we also saw improvements in shipments of construction materials such as stone, cement and gypsum as COVID-19 restrictions continue to be lifted,” said Terence Bowles President and CEO of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation. “That being said, steep declines in shipments of steel-making materials and petroleum products remain, reflecting the challenges faced by the manufacturing and energy sectors. There is still a way to go for recovery.”

 Year-to-date Canadian grain exports continued to flourish, up 11.26 per cent from the same time period in 2019. 

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