WASHINGTON — Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico, was 8.3 percent higher in May than in May 2011, totaling $83.8 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Adjusted for inflation and exchange rates, the May total was $60.7 billion in 2004 dollars, up 11.7 percent from the year before.
The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico increased 5 percent in May from April. Month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations and other factors, BTS notes.
The value of U.S. NAFTA surface transportation trade in May increased by 72.6 percent compared to May 2002, a period of 10 years. Imports in May were up 62.5 percent since May 2002, while exports were up 85.9 percent.
Surface transportation includes freight movements by truck, rail, pipeline, mail, Foreign Trade Zones, and other modes of transport.
In May, 86.5 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moved via land, 9.6 percent moved by vessel, and 3.8 percent moved by air.
U.S. trade by surface transportation with Mexico has increased at a faster pace than trade with Canada.
U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico surface transportation trade in May both increased compared to May 2011 with U.S.-Canada trade reaching $48.1 billion, a 4 percent increase, and with U.S.-Mexico trade reaching $35.6 billion, a 14.9 percent increase.
In May, Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada, at $6.5 billion, a 2.6 percent increase from May 2011. Of the top 10 states by value, California had the largest percentage increase over May 2011, at 29.7 percent.
The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada by surface modes of transportation in May was vehicles, valued at $9.5 billion.
Texas continued to lead all states in surface trade with Mexico at $12.9 billion, a 15.6 percent increase from May 2011. This amount is the highest on record, surpassing the $12.6 billion in Texas- Mexico trade in March.
Of the top 10 states by value, North Carolina had the biggest percentage increase, 39.1 percent, primarily because of a $59 million increase from May 2011 in the export of inorganic chemicals.
BTS has scheduled the release of June TransBorder numbers for Aug. 28.
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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