Lakes Limestone Trade Down 3.6 Percent in 2012
CLEVELAND – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 27,145,219 tons in 2012, a decrease of 3.6 percent compared to 2011. The trade was 7 percent below its 5-year average. Shipments from U.S. ports fell 2.4 percent when compared to 2011, and slightly more – 4.1 percent – when compared to their 5-year average. Loadings at Canadian quarries decreased 9 percent compared to 2011, and slipped almost 19 percent compared to their 5-year average.
Falling water levels and the dredging crisis took a toll in 2012. By year’s end, a vessel that has carried as much as 35,457 tons in a single trip averaged only 29,796 tons on the three stone loads it moved in December. The cargos were loaded at a quarry on Lake Huron and that body of water has fallen to a new record low.