Cross-border trade by rail between the United States and Canada has been on the rise for the past eight months, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
U.S. rail exports to Canada jumped 5.6 percent to $2.43 billion from $2.3 billion in January 2012, although they were down almost 9 percent from the level seen in December 2012. For the full year of 2012, exports were up 11.8 percent by value over 2011.
U.S. rail imports also increased year-over-year in January 2013, rising 4.2 percent to $5.82 billion, but volume as measured by value fell .5 percent or $87 million month-to-month. The value of imports by rail from Canada rose 7.4 percent year-over-year in 2012.
Truck trade between the U.S. and Canada also increased in January after declining in December. U.S. exports by truck rose over 2 percent year-over-year and 6.6 percent month-to-month to $15.77 billion in January. In 2012 the value of exports by truck grew 3.8 percent over 2011.
The value of imports by truck from Canada rose 2.8 percent in January over the same month in 2012 to $11.29 billion; this was 11.5 percent or $1.16 billion higher than the level seen in December 2012. The value of imports by truck rose 2.5 percent year-over-year in 2012.
BTS noted in a press release last week: “The top commodity category overall transported between the U.S. and Canada by surface modes of transportation in 2012 was vehicles and vehicle parts (other than railway vehicles and parts) with $107.4 billion in trade. U.S.-Canada trade of this commodity group was split roughly even between exports and imports, reflecting the interdependency of automotive plants on both sides of the border.”