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Marine potash shipments through Thunder Bay remain strong

Reports predict better 2022 Western Canadian grain crop
Thunder Bay port grain elevators 2
(Port of Thunder Bay photo)

June was a strong month for potash shipments through the Port of Thunder Bay.

Ocean-going vessels loaded more than 150,000 tonnes of Western Canada potash, marking a second consecutive strong month for moving the fertlizer product through the Lake Superior port. Destinations include Europe, North Africa and South America.

In a July 6 news release, the port authority said the volume of potash shipped, as of June 30, exceeds the port’s annual average.  Potash destinations include ports in Europe, South America, and North Africa. This year, the port has handled almost 440,000 tonnes of potash. 

Incoming general cargoes were also moving at a brisk pace,

At Keefer Terminal, wind turbine components were imported for Western Canadian wind farm projects.  The port authority said these included 88 large windmill tower sections, which are being staged at Keefer’s intermodal yard and will be railed west.

Western Canada grain cargoes are moving east through Thunder Bay at a more “modest” rate this year, the authority said.

Year-to-date shipments of grain are down by one million tonnes compared to last year with more than 1.7 million tonnes moved over the docks so far in 2022. The port is still moving last year’s grain harvest, which was generally regarded as a poor crop.

The port authority said it expects higher grain shipments this fall once this year’s harvest is in.

Global grain demand remains high while supplies are tight, the authority said, and Agriculture Canada is estimating much better crop production than last year.