Seaway St. Lawrence River were to conclude 2015 having declined busy cargo ships of nearly 10%, but its managers rely on the weather phenomenon El Nino and the strengthening of the economy to reverse this trend.
Terence Bowles, President of the Executive Management Corporation Seaway St. Lawrence, had planned a growth in demand for that export season, but the waterway failed to maintain the recovery initiated at the Following the great financial crisis of 2008.
Mr. Bowles told in an interview with The Canadian Press that managers hoped that the momentum would continue, but poor posture of the economy seems to have had effects on their figures.
Water prolonged glaciation has also delayed the start of the season, which reduced the influx of boats carrying grain, iron ore and coal. This is coal which accused the biggest drop, falling almost 38%.
The coal industry is in a critical period because Ontario and the United States increasingly abandoning the resource, says Bowles. Exports to Europe also fell as prices for imported coal with low sulfur content of the US are not so advantageous.
However, the grain had a good year, according to Bowles, even if exports were down 11% compared to 2014 – they remain still nearly one million tonnes on average over five years.
The grain of Ontario, which passes through the port of Hamilton, is a growing resource.
Only a few weeks of the closure of the sea, on 30 December, the boats influx decreased by 10.5% – a total of 31.5 million tons – as of the end of November.
“We are just a barometer of the economy, so I expect it will be better next year,” he said, adding that the big question was whether the extent of recovery.
Meteorologists believe that El Nino will be particularly strong this winter. The phenomenon will effectively heat the water and soften the temperatures in eastern Canada. So there would be less ice, which could ensure a more rapid opening of the Seaway. Last winter, the ice on the river had led to the later opened the waterway since 1997. This had led to substantial delays for the month of April, even if the rest of the year s’ was quite well.
The freezing winters of the past two years have strained the system of the waterway, which only has a limited inventory of icebreakers.