Great Lakes’ Ore Float at 6-year High
Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 7,231,506 tons in July, the highest level since July 2008 when 7,318,961 tons were loaded at U.S. and Canadian ports. This July’s total also represents an increase of 8.6 percent over June and 10.2 percent over a year ago.
U.S. Great Lakes ports accounted for the upturn. Loadings totaled 6,681,796 tons, an increase of nearly 18 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments from Canadian ports in the Seaway decreased nearly 30 percent, in part because of the closure of Wabush Mines.
Higher water levels have helped the trade rebound after suffering endless delays in March and April when heavy ice formations covered the Lakes. The largest iron ore cargo loaded in the Head-of-the-Lakes trade in July totaled 69,859 tons. Even so, that cargo was 2,441 tons less than the record for the ore trade through the Soo Locks, and year-to-date, iron ore shipments are still more than 10 percent off last year’s pace.