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Great Lakes Limestone Trade Down in April


Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 1,630,081 tons in April, a decrease of 16.3 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings also trailed the month’s five-year average by 22.4 percent, according to the Lake Carriers' Association.

Loadings at U.S. quarries totaled 1,332,839 tons, a decrease of 14 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments from Canadian docks totaled 297,242 tons, a decrease of 24.7 percent.

Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 1.7 million tons, a decrease of 24.3 percent compared to the same point in 2016. Shipments from U.S. quarries are down 23.3 percent. Loadings out of Canadian quarries are off by 24.7 percent.

The year-to-date total includes 78,489 tons shipped from U.S. quarries in March.

Lake Carriers’ Association represents 13 American companies that operate 49 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 sand and grain. Collectively, these vessels can transport more than 100 million tons of cargo per year.