North American forest products rail freight up 2.5% in latest week; two carriers lower 1Q guidance

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North American forest products rail freight up 2.5% in latest week; two carriers lower 1Q guidance

March 26, 2015 - 09:45
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OAKLAND, CA, March 26, 2015 (RISI) -North American paper/forest products railroad freight was up 2.5% in the latest week ending March 21 at 18,587 carloads, the Assn of American Railroads reported. Volume through 11 weeks of 2015 at 274,910 carloads was 4.2% higher than the same period in 2014.

In the week, US paper/forest freight was down 5.7%, Canada was 16.9% higher, and Mexico's small volume was down 53.8%. Year-to-date US freight was up 0.5%, Canada was 10.4% higher and Mexico was down 33.2%, AAR showed.

Total North America rail carloads in the week were down 1.7% and year-to-date were 2.2% higher. Nine commodity groups were up from 2014 and coal showed a 1.8% decline.

Genesee & Wyoming said this week its traffic in the first quarter of 2015 has been weaker than expectated due to severe winter weather in four of G&W's North American regions, as well as weakness in certain commodity groups, including steam coal and metals. G&W said it expects net income in the quarter to be about $10 million below guidance.

Kansas City Southern said it expects low single-digit revenue growth, reduced from the mid single-digit revenue growth provided in the previous full-year 2015 guidance issued in January. The reduced revenue guidance reflects slower year-to-date carload growth primarily from the energy sector, along with a continued deterioration in the value of the Mexican peso against the US dollar, and lower fuel surcharge revenues.