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Thunder Bay grain shipments continue to soar

Canada’s Port of Thunder Bay on the tip of Lake Superior continues to experience above-average grain shipments as international demand for wheat remains high through the global pandemic.  As of July 31, year-to-date grain volume of 4.2 million tonnes sits 26% higher than last year.

Total year-to-date throughput amounted to 4.7 million tonnes versus the year-earlier 4 million tonnes. Potash, liquid bulk, dry bulk and general cargo (Keefer terminal) all posted gains while coal shipments declined.

July grain shipments were 100,000 metric tonnes higher than the same month last year. Strong shipments are anticipated this fall, as well.  Canadian farmers are preparing to harvest one of the Top 5 largest crops in history, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s most recent outlook.  

Demonstrating confidence in the future of the Canadian grain trade, both CN and CP railways have recently announced further investment in their hopper car fleets to accommodate larger harvests, which, owing to technological advancements and longer growing seasons, are likely to last.  CN has also stepped up its railcar allotment for grain services by 150 extra cars per week for the 2020-21 crop year.

Elsewhere in the port, there was a rise in other dry bulk shipments in July.  These were imported road salt and aggregate for regional consumption. (TBPA photo)