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11/22/2010



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

St. Lawrence Seaway experiences boon in export grain traffic, USDOT says


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During 2010’s first 10 months, grain exports have risen “sharply” through the St. Lawrence Seaway, increasing about 23 percent year over year to 1.9 million metric tons, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). Overall, St. Lawrence Seaway traffic is up 17 percent, and ports in Duluth, Minn., Milwaukee and Toledo, Ohio, have registered sizable vessel traffic and tonnage gains.

The USDOT attributes the export grain increase primarily to Russia’s ban on grain exports, which began in August because of drought conditions. Russia plans to keep the ban in place through year’s end. As a result, markets in Europe and North Africa have turned to North American farmers to satisfy their grain demand, USDOT officials said in a prepared statement.
 
“Vessel traffic this fall is robust in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System, as ships are busy carrying almost 2 million tons of U.S. wheat, corn and soybeans to export markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” said Collister Johnson Jr., administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.


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