Ice Slows Resumption of Great Lakes Stone Trade
Heavy ice cover on the lakes that stretched well into April slowed resumption of the limestone trade. Shipments totaled only 1.8 million tons, a decrease of 28% compared to a year ago. Loadings are 21% off the month’s five-year average.
Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 1.6 million tons, a decrease of 24% compared to a year ago. Loadings at Canadian quarries totaled 247,670 tons, a decrease of nearly 50% from last year.
Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 2.1 million tons, a decrease of 22% compared to a year ago, and 12% below the five-year average for the January-April timeframe.
U.S. ports: Calcite, Mich.; Cedarville, Mich.; Drummond Island, Mich.; Kellys Island, Ohio; Marblehead, Ohio; Port Inland, Mich.and Presque Isle, Mich. Kellys Island ceased shipping in fall 2009. Canadian ports: Bruce Mines, Manitoulin Island and Smelter Bay (all Ontario).
Lake Carriers’ Association represents 17 American companies that operate 57 U.S.-flag vessels on the Great Lakes and carry the raw materials that drive the nation’s economy: iron ore and fluxstone for the steel industry, aggregate and cement for the construction industry, coal for power generation, as well as salt, sand and grain. Collectively, these vessels can transport more than 115 million tons of cargo per year.