LCA reports on coal, limestone trades (1/7)

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The Lake Carriers’ Association has issued the following news briefs, each dated Jan. 7.


Lakes Coal Trade Finishes Strong;
Tops Recession-Impacted 2009 by 7 Percent


CLEVELAND—Coal shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 2,966,286 net tons in December, an increase of 27 percent compared to a year ago. However, loadings remained 18 percent below December’s 5-year average.


For the year, the Great Lakes coal trade totaled 32 million tons, an increase of 7 percent compared to 2009. Loadings at Lake Superior ports were virtually unchanged from 2009. Shipments from Chicago increased 18 percent. The largest increase collectively came at Ohio’s Lake Erie loading ports of Toledo, Sandusky and Ashtabula: 20.3 percent.


Despite the improvement over 2009, the Lakes coal trade still has yet to fully rebound to previous levels. 2010 loadings were more than 21 percent below the 5-year average.


Lakes Limestone Trade Up Nearly 19 Percent in 2010


Cleveland—Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 1,039,924 tons in December, an increase of 37.7 percent compared a year ago. However, the trade was down more than 40 percent compared to the month’s 5-year average.


For the year the Lakes limestone trade totaled 27.9 million tons, an increase of 18.6 percent compared to 2009. Shipments from U.S. stone quarries rose 20 percent to 22.3 million tons. Loadings at Canadian quarries increased 13.4 percent to 5.5 million tons.


2010’s rebound was not enough to restore the stone trade to previous levels. Shipments were 16.3 percent off the trade’s 5-year average, and nearly 30 percent below the volume recorded in 2006.

Lake Carriers’ Association represents 18 American companies that operate 55 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, limestone and cement for the construction industry, coal for power generation.... Collectively, these vessels can transport more than 115 million tons of cargo per year when high water offsets lack of adequate dredging. More information is available at


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