The Port of Hamilton continues to be a major shipping point for agri-food products. With Ontario poised to produce its fourth largest soybean crop ever, soybean exports through the Port of Hamilton are soaring. “We are already 78% above last year’s performance and we’re forecasting 1 million tons of soybean exports by season’s close,” said Ian Hamilton, President and CEO of HOPA Ports. “We are also seeing a steady increase in imports of raw sugar for processing, up 68% this year, driven by the success of SucroCan, a sugar producer located at the port.”
During the month of August, 3.46 million tons of cargo moved through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system, bringing the year-to-date shipping to nearly 19.2 million tons shipped. While tonnage transported on the Seaway system is below the year-to-date total for 2021, total vessel transits remain stable for the same period. This shows that the Seaway is ready to respond to the opportunities between now and the end of the season, including Canadian grain shipments that could lead to a comeback this fall.
“This year, U.S grains, which includes corn, soybeans and seeds is up by 29% and all signs point to a strong Canadian crop, particularly in Ontario. This could offset the early season slow-down that we’ve experienced.” said Terence Bowles, President and CEO of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.
While Canadian grain is still down 26%, salt, petroleum products, petcoke and potash continue well ahead of 2021 levels. For the year, shipments of petroleum products are up 40% to more than 1.5 million tons, petcoke shipments have increased more than 31% to 1.15 million tons and potash shipments are up more than 267% at 756,000 tons. Year-to-year shipments of windmill equipment is also up.