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Great Lakes Limestone Trade Ramps Up

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 10, 2015

Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3.8 million tons in May, an increase of 16.6 percent compared to a year ago, and the highest monthly total recorded since June 2012, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) reported. In terms of tons, shipments from U.S. quarries registered the largest gain: 326,000 tons.

LCA noted that the limestone trade was not hampered by the aftereffects of a brutal winter, unlike a year ago. The Lakes were basically ice-free, whereas in 2014, ice formations lingered well into May and a number of vessels were idled for a period to repair ice damage suffered in March and April.

Year-to-date shipments of limestone total 5.9 million tons, an increase of 37.7 percent compared to the same point in 2014. However, LCA said that increase could have been greater. A number of vessels that primarily serve the short-haul stone trade delayed their sailings this April rather than become beset in ice. The Coast Guard Authorization Act passed by the House of Representatives includes a provision that authorizes the Commandant to design and build a new icebreaker for its Great Lakes fleet. The Senate has yet to take up its Coast Guard bill.

 

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