U.S.-Flag lakers hauled 11 million tons of various dry-bulk cargos in November, a slight increase (1.8 percent) compared to last year. With now five straight months of increases, U.S.-Flag carriers have moved nearly 91 million tons of cargo and narrowed the gap between this and last year to 2.2 percent.
Iron ore shipments in U.S. bottoms totaled 5 million tons in November, an increase of nearly 17 percent. However, as has been stated before, increases in the ore float are not as impressive as they seem. LTV Steel was in its death throes a year ago; ISG has relit most of LTV's blast furnaces with a resulting increase in demand for iron ore. For the season, U.S.-Flag iron ore cargos
stand at 41.8 million tons, a decrease of 1.7 percent.
Continued strong demand for western, low-sulfur coal pushed U.S.-Flag coal cargos to 2.7 million tons in November, an increase of 8.2 percent. The 19.7 million tons carried through November represent a slight increase over 2001's end-of-November total.
Weather-related delays suffered by the small and mid-sized vessels in the stone trade caused loadings of that commodity in U.S.-Flag lakers to slip 15.8 percent to 2.8 million tons. For the season, this trade is down 2.7 percent and reflects the season-long sluggishness in the construction industry.