North American forest products rail volume down 4.9% in week ending May 7; US 7.7% lower

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North American forest products rail volume down 4.9% in week ending May 7; US 7.7% lower

May 12, 2016 - 13:41
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OAKLAND, CA, May 12, 2016 (RISI) -North American forest products rail freight was down 4.9% in the latest week ending May 7, 2016, to 17,370 carloads compared with a year ago, the Assn of American Railroads reported. Volume through 18 weeks at 329,707 carloads was 2.7% below 2015.

US forest products freight in the week was down 7.7%, Canada was off 0.8% and Mexico was 41.3% lower. Year-to-date US volume was down 6.6%, Canada was up 3.2% and Mexico was 45% lower.

Genesee & Wyoming reported its pulp and paper carloads in April were down 10.8% to 13,577 carloads primarily due to decreased shipments in its Canada, Southern and Pacific regions. Lumber/forest products was 5.9% lower to 11,209 carloads. The company’s total carloads were 12.8% lower on reduced coal, agricultural products, minerals and stone, and pulp and paper traffic, G&W said.

BNSF Railway showed its pulp and paper freight in the week was down 3.8% to 1,420 carloads and year-to-date were up 3.5% to 25,013 carloads. Lumber/wood products were up 0.7% in the week and 5.5% year-to-date. Forest products were down 33.8% and 19.9% respectively.

AAR showed only two of nine North American commodity groups with higher carloads through 18 weeks, with chemicals up 0.5% and motor vehicles and parts up 7.1%. Coal was down 32.6%, ores and metals were down 16.4% and petroleum was 17.6% lower. Total carloads were down 14.8% in the week and 13% lower year-to-date.

BNSF showed its year-to-date coal volume was down 37%, ores down 36.7%, and petroleum 26.9% lower. Total carloads were down 18.7% in the week and 18.5% lower year-to-date.