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Great Lakes iron ore trade edged higher during the first seven months of this year, according to the latest data from the Lake Carriers' Association.

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For January-July the iron ore trade totaled 26.8 million st, an increase of 0.5% compared with the same period in 2018.

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes totaled 6.56 million st in July, an increase of 1.5% compared to a year ago. July shipments were also 9.8% ahead of the month's five-year average.

Iron ore shipments are 6.3% ahead of their five-year average for the first seven months of the year.

The Cleveland-based Lake Carriers' Association represents 13 American companies that operate 46 US-flag ships on the Great Lakes and carry iron ore and fluxstone for the steel industry, aggregate and cement for the construction industry, coal for power generation, as well as salt, sand and grain.

-- Joe Innace,

-- Edited by Debiprasad Nayak,