Cargo shipments on the St. Lawrence Seaway are off to a slow start this year.
Seaway officials report that year-to-date total cargo shipments for the period March 22 to May 31 were 8.1 million metric tons, down 12 percent over the same period in 2012.
There were two bright spots: the amount of grain shipped went up 132 percent and shipments of liquid bulk products went up 7 percent.
Iron ore dropped 17 percent, coal was down 7 percent, officials say, and general cargo was down 19 percent.
Coal shipments in the Great Lakes have declined steadily as electric plants in the region switch to natural gas.
General cargo was down 19 percent, petroleum products were up 24 percent, dry bulk products were down 27 percent, scrap metal was up 69 percent, and pig iron hiked by 16 percent.
Friday, July 29, 2016, Watertown, NY
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