Great Lakes coal shipments down 6% in August

Coal shipments on the North American Great Lakes totalled 2.9 million tons in August, up by 6% compared with July, the Lake Carriers’ Assn said on Tuesday September 11.

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Shipments are down by 3% compared with a year ago.

Coal shipped to Quebec City in Canada for reloading into ocean-going vessels totalled 196,000 tons.

“Water levels and the dredging crisis affected the coal trade in August,” the association said.

“The Lakes are usually approaching their peak at this time of the year, and the season’s top cargoes are often loaded in August. However, water levels are plunging, and only 17 of the 63 federally maintained ports are being dredged this year,” it added.

“The largest coal cargo shipped in August totalled only 64,678 tons, well below the record of 70,903 tons set in August 1997,” it concluded.