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North American pulp and paper rail freight mostly higher in latest week, lower year-to-date

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North American pulp and paper rail freight mostly higher in latest week, lower year-to-date

December 09, 2016 - 13:27
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OAKLAND, CA, Dec. 9, 2016 (RISI) -North American railroads reported mixed pulp and paper freight in the week ending Dec. 3, and mostly lower through 48 weeks of 2016. Lumber and wood products volumes were mostly higher.

CNreported its pulp and paper freight in the week ending Dec. 3 was down 1.5% to 3,390 carloads and through 48 weeks of the year was 6.3% lower 153,425 carloads. Lumber/wood products in the week was up 8.3% to 3,252 carloads and year-to-date was 7.8% higher to 157,518 carloads.

CSXshowed pulp and paper freight in the week was up 0.3% to 3,170 carloads and y-t-d was down 10.1% to 132,130 carloads. Lumber/wood products in the week was up 3.5% to 1,087 carloads and y-t-d was 1.9% lower at 55,142 carloads.

Union Pacificshowed pulp and paper freight was up 1% in the week to 2,045 carloads and y-t-d was down 6% to 81,024 carloads. Lumber/wood was up 5% in the week to 2,360 carloads and was unchanged y-t-d at 109,903 carloads.

BNSFshowed pulp and paper volume in the week was 4.2% higher to 1,448 units and y-t-d was up 0.2% to 65,971 units. Lumber/wood freight in the week was up 13% to 1,602 carloads and y-t-d was up 0.9% 76,921 carloads.

Genesee & Wyomingreported its pulp and paper freight in November declined 9.5% to 12,942 carloads and lumber/wood increased 2.5% to 11,110 carloads. G&W said pulp and paper traffic decreased primarily due to lower shipment volumes in all of its North American regions.

TheAssn of American Railroadsreported total North American forest products volume in the week was 0.5% above a year ago to 18,785 carloads and y-t-d was 3.9% lower to 860,913 carloads.

In the week, US forest products traffic was down 0.3% to 10,898 carloads, Canada was up 1.5% to 7,852 carloads, and Mexico was up 12.9% to 35 carloads. Through 48 weeks, US volume was down 7.7% to 484,483 carloads, Canada was up 1.8% to 375,335 carloads, and Mexico was down 43.9% to 1,095 carloads.

Total North American carload freight was up 1.7% in the week and 8% lower y-t-d. Intermodal was up 3.5% in the week and total traffic was 2.6% higher. Intermodal was down 2.4% y-t-d and total traffic was 5.3% lower.

Coal freight through 48 weeks was down 21% and petroleum was down 19%.

"There are glimmers of hope in rail traffic data in November, with carloads and intermodal totals both up over last year — something that hasn't happened for carloads in 22 months and for intermodal in nine months," AAR commented. "Hopefully, these results are indicators of continuing future growth for the manufacturing economy, for trade, and for rail traffic. It appears that economic fundamentals are trending toward more positive results than have been seen in the recent past."