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Iron ore shipment slump; association cites 'dredging crisis'

Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway in July were 6.4 million tons, a 6.7 percent decline compared to a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers' Association.

Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway in July were 6.4 million tons, a 6.7 percent decline compared to a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers' Association.

Iron ore loadings for July were also below a five-year average by 115,000 tons, according to the association.

For the year, iron ore shipments through August were 29.3 million tons, a 4.3 percent decrease compared to the same pe-riod in 2006, but slightly ahead of a five-year average.

A dredging crisis in ports and waterways meant that a 1,000-foot vessel in July carried 9.5 percent to 11.6 percent less than capacity, according to the association.

A 700-foot long vessel that delivered iron ore to an Ohio steel mill in July used only 83.6 percent of its capacity due to inadequate dredging, according to the association.

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