U.S. trade with neighbors drops 4% in March
Trade value among the United States, Mexico and Canada hit $95.6 billion in March, a 4 percent decline from March 2012.
Trucks carried 60 percent of the goods traded, with rail accounting for 16.5 percent of the goods moved, vessels taking on 8.1 percent of the cargo, and air transporting just 3.7 percent of the freight. Seven percent of the goods traded moved by pipeline.
Trade between the United States and Canada finished March at $54.3 billion, a 2 percent decline, year over year, but an 11.2 percent increase over February. Trucks accounted for 55.1 percent of the goods transported, with rail coming in second at 17.9 percent. The three biggest state trading partners with Canada — Michigan, Illinois and California — were unchanged from a year ago, but Illinois saw a 16 percent drop in activity. Washington, which ranked eighth, experienced a 25.6 percent boost in trade.
Non-railway vehicles were the top commodities traded between the United States and Canada, and these traveled by truck and rail. By air, the most popular goods were computer-related machinery and parts.
Mexico-U.S. trade accounted for $41.2 billion of the total trade amount, with truck and rail, once again, being the most popular forms of transport at 66.5 percent and 14.8 percent, respectively. Trade value between the two countries dropped 6.4 percent in March, but rose 4.2 percent from February. The biggest U.S.-Mexico traders were Texas, California and Michigan, but the largest two trading partners experienced double-digit declines in growth. Louisiana, ranked seventh, ramped up its trade activity with Mexico in March by 25 percent.
Electrical machinery, equipment and parts served as the biggest imports traveling into the United States by truck. By rail, non-railway vehicles saw the most activity. - Jon Ross