Pulp and paper freight struggles on North American railroads through May, lumber faring better

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Pulp and paper freight struggles on North American railroads through May, lumber faring better

May 12, 2017 - 17:42
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OAKLAND, CA, May 12, 2017 (RISI) -Pulp and paper railroad freight volume was broadly lower among a group of major US and Canadian carriers through 18 weeks of 2017, with lumber/wood products more favourable, according to key metrics reports.

CNreported pulp and paper freight in the week ending May 6, 2017, was up 6.6% to 3,138 carloads, but was down 1.1% year-to-date at 58,148 carloads. Lumber/wood products was 3.2% higher in the week to 3,281 carloads and year-to-date was up 0.2% to 59,538 carloads.

CN reported its total forest products freight in first quarter was down 5% from 2016 to 107,000 carloads and revenues were 3% lower to C$447 million.

CSXshowed pulp and paper freight in the week was down 2.1% to 2,560 carloads, and lumber/wood products was 3.4% lower to 1,224 carloads. Year-to-date pulp and paper volume was down 1.6% to 49,595 carloads and lumber/wood products was up 3.9% to 21,017 carloads.

Union Pacificpulp and paper freight in the week was 4% higher to 1,652 carloads, and lumber/wood products was up 5% to 2,461 carloads. Year-to-date pulp and paper volume was up 1% to 30,322 carloads and lumber/wood products was 2% higher to 42,545 carloads.

BNSF Railwayshowed pulp and paper freight in the week were down 11.5% to 1,256 carloads, and lumber/wood products were 9.7% higher to 1,782 carloads. Year-to-date pulp and paper volume was down 2.4% to 24,414 carloads, and lumber/wood products was 4% lower to 28,847 carloads.

Genesee & Wyomingshowed its April pulp and paper freight was down 5.7% to 12,808 carloads, and lumber/wood products was up 5.4% to 11,816 carloads. G&W said its first quarter pulp and paper volume was down 6.3% from 2016 due to truck competition and a plant outage. Lumber/wood products in the quarter was down 4.2% on truck competition and lower exports to Asia.

CPreported its forest products freight in the week was down 0.5% to 1,258 carloads and year-to-date was 2% lower to 23,231 carloads.

Total North American forest products freight in the latest week ending May 6 was up 1.8% to 24,830 carloads, theAssn of American Railroadsreported, and year-to-date was 3.5% higher to 465,792 carloads.

In the week, US volume was up 0.3%, Canada was up 4.5% and Mexico was up 9.5%.

Year-to-date, US volume was down 3.3% to 179,062 carloads, Canada was down 4.4% to 137,723 carloads, and Mexico was 0.7% lower to 421 carloads, AAR showed.