NEW YORK Shipments of iron ore and coal on the Great Lakes will likely remain delayed in April due to fallout from severe winter weather, Glen G. Nekvasil, vice president of the Lake Carriers Association, told AMM.
"With the shipments coming out later overall, vessels cant carry as much cargo as they normally would in April," he said. "Also, the lake conditions are still very challenging as we speak."
Only 23 U.S.-flag lakers were in service as of April 1 compared with 38 at the same time last year, the association said in a statement.
Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel Corp. recently was forced to curtail production at its Gary Works in Indiana due to a delay in receiving raw material shipments driven by "unprecedented" ice conditions on the Great Lakes (amm.com, April 3).
Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 827,116 tons in March, down 47.3 percent from nearly 1.57 million tons in the same month last year, the shipping association said, while coal shipments fell 44.5 percent to 102,093 tons from 183,854 tons in the same comparison.
Year-to-date iron ore shipments of 2.55 million tons were down 40.5 percent from nearly 4.29 million tons in the first three months of last year.