October US-Canada pulp and paper rail freight down 2.5% from year ago, lumber up 12.3%; latest weekly p&p volume drops 5.4%

By James McLaren Fri, Nov 09, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 9, 2012 (RISI) -US-Canada pulp and paper railroad freight in October was down 2.5% from a year ago to 43,665 carloads, the Assn of American railroads reported. Traffic in the month was 6.8% lower than in 2010.

US pulp and paper volume in October at 28,128 carloads was down 1.7% from 2011 and off 1.5% from 2010, and Canada traffic at 15,527 carloads was 4% lower than 2011 and 15% below 2010, AAR showed.

US-Canada lumber and wood products freight in October at 30,052 carloads was 12.3% higher than 2011 and 30.1% above 2010. US freight rose 17.9% from 2011 and 31.9% from 2010, and Canada was higher by 6.7% and 28.2% respectively.

Combined primary forest products carloads at 7,619 units was down 6.3% from 2011 and 6.8% higher than 2010.

Weekly pulp and paper rail freight for the US-Canada-Mexico for the period ending Nov. 3 was down 5.4% to 8,609 carloads, AAR reported. US volume was 5.4% lower, Canada dropped 6.5% and Mexico was 17.1% lower.

Through 44 weeks of 2012, pulp and paper freight at 411,669 carloads was 2.2% below the same period of 2011.

Weekly North American lumber and wood products freight surged 24% to 3,285 carloads and year-to-date was 13% higher at 138,211 carloads.

Primary forest products freight was down 3.2% in the week and was 2.6% higher year-to-date.

AAR said US total rail traffic continues to show mixed results in monthly rail data, and that impacts from Hurricane Sandy can be seen in decreased traffic for the latest week.

Rail traffic for the week ending Nov. 3, which included impacts from Hurricane Sandy, saw US carloads down 6.8% compared with last year. Total North American traffic in the week dropped 5.7% and was 1.8% lower year-to-date.

"The fundamentals of US rail traffic remained roughly the same in October as in recent months: weakness in coal, remarkable growth in petroleum and petroleum products, a slight slowing of growth in intermodal and autos, and mixed results for everything else," AAR said.

All PPI publications and websites, including ppimagazine.com are copyrighted. Redistributing content or sharing user names are prohibited by law in virtually every country around the world and may subject you to fines. More detail on terms of use.