Lakes Limestone Trade Up Almost 19 Percent in November


Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 2.95 million tons in November, an increase of 18.8 percent compared to a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association. November’s loadings were also 6.4 percent ahead of the month’s five-year average.

Loadings from U.S. quarries totaled 2.5 million tons, an increase of 21.2 percent compared to a year ago. It should be noted, however, that shipments from U.S. quarries in November 2016 were at their lowest level in more than a decade.

Shipments from Canadian quarries this November totaled 430,000 tons, an increase of one cargo in a mid-sized Great Lakes freighter.

Year-to-date the limestone trade stands at 26.7 million tons, an increase of 5.8 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings from Michigan and Ohio quarries total 22 million tons, an increase of 7.6 percent. Shipments from Ontario quarries total 4.7 million tons, a decrease of 2.2 percent.

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.