Skip to comments.Great Lakes ice blocks flow of grain, iron
Posted on 05/02/2014 1:44:55 AM PDT by prisoner6
5/2 - The biggest ice cover on the Great Lakes in decades is backing up shipments of everything from Canadian grain to U.S. iron and steel in one of North America's most important economic regions. The frigid winter and cool spring have hurt companies like Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. and United States Steel Corp, and also hampered efforts to clear an unprecedented buildup of grain and oilseeds in Western Canada.
The Great Lakes region accounts for nearly one third of combined Canadian and U.S. output, jobs and exports, according to a report by Bank of Montreal on April 25.
Pittsburgh-based US Steel expects reduced second-quarter income from operations due to limited production and slower shipments of raw materials and finished goods, said Chief Executive Mario Longhi on a conference call on Wednesday about first quarter results.
"Ice conditions in the Great Lakes, and particularly Lake Superior, are the worst we have seen in over 30 years," Longhi said.
Vessels traveling across Lake Superior require an escort by ice-cutting equipment, limiting the number of ships and extending travel times, he said.
Cliffs Natural Resources, based in Cleveland, Ohio, said that the Great Lakes experienced more than 70 days of -30 degrees F (-34.4 Celsius) temperatures during the winter, making it hard for Cliffs to ship iron ore pellets to North American steel makers. Some steel makers have had to reduce or idle production, Cliffs Chief Executive Gary Halverson said on Friday.
The late ice cover compounds a backlog of Western Canadian grain, which piled up due to the frigid winter and record harvest overwhelming Canadian National Railway Co and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd, which move crops to port.
(Excerpt) Read more at boatnerd.com ...
There is more at the boatnerd.com website. You may have to scroll down a bit to find the article.
Where’s that global warming when you need it? Just a side bar; yesterday, some east Texas cities broke a 103 year record low temp. Go figure....
You gotta expect that in May...
Why not just post a link to the article?
Easier said than done. It is not a particularly sophisticated web page.
We didn’t listen!
Gorebull warming strikes again, women and children hit hardest.
It’s the way boatnerd is laid out. I’d have to be able to link to a line on their news page but that changes everytime something new is posted.
Ice jams are a result of “global warming, doesn’t everyone know that? Ask internet guru Al Gore.
Ice blocking the flow of grain and iron is akin to odumbo blocking the Keystone but using mother nature to get it done for him. He does have power of the phone and pen and somehow has stolen power from mother nature.
I don’t think food prices will go up. The grain is harvested and stored. There is a bottleneck moving it to market. This will pass.
The price of that “pure Italian pasta” might go up and to the right.
I live near lake Huron and some days I’ve seen 6 or 7 freighters lined up and anchored just off the shipping lane obviously waiting to go into the upper lakes. The ferry companies that service Mackinac Island are running a limited schedule due to the unusually late Ice cover. Some ice cover may persist in upper Superior into June.
Celtic Conservative, any idea when the lakes will be ice free?
June ice was predicted by one of the shipping tradesmen in Duluth last week.
This shipping season has already lost six or seven round trips from Superior to the lower lakes. Now if winter comes early and the boats can’t run into January, 2015, even a break even season might not be within reach.
But the drought continues without relief here in Texas. We are at 50% of normal rainfall and the yard looks like a desert. This has gone on so many years I can’t count them. I can’t recall when we had “normal” rain.
Oklahoma isn’t much better. Wheat production is seriously threatened.
Lots of bad things going on in food production. Cattle numbers are way down and will go down more with continuing drought. There has been almost no recovery from the 2011 / 2012 time. Hogs are way down because of the virus. Etc.
You’re right, it could be tough economic sledding for the great lakes carriers.
Just eat 19% less, problem solved.
I remember twice in the last 15 years Michigan had a killing frost on June 1. Had to replant the garden both times and some annual flowers died...