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Potash exports trending upward at Superior port

Thunder Bay marine cargoes up during first two months of shipping season
More than 1,800 tonnes of imported wood pellets were unloaded for Ontario Power Generation’s Thunder Bay power plant. (Thunder Bay Port Authority photo)

More than a million tonnes of outbound grain, coal and potash moved through the Port of Thunder Bay in May.

The port authority, which released cargo statistics on June 11, said these are pretty consistent numbers for this time of the year.

The Lake Superior port has handled more than 1.9 million tonnes of cargo during the first two months of the shipping season, slightly better than the five-year average.

So far in 2018, potash shipments heading overseas have been trending upward with more than 104,000 tonnes exported during April and May, slightly above the five-year average of 100,907.

The authority said grain volumes recorded for May – 843,000 tonnes – were bolstered by large shipments of wheat and soybeans, the latter which has increased steadily at the port in recent years. The record for soybean cargoes at the port was set last year at 387,000 tonnes.

The authority is predicting a banner year for incoming project cargo.

During May, vessels have discharged windmill parts, wood pellets, structural steel and a railcar cabin at Keefer Terminal.

More shipments of steel and windmills are arriving in June.