AAR said 11 of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases during the week, compared with the same week in 2011. Gainers included petroleum products, up 64.2%, farm products excluding grain, up 61.4%, and crushed stone, sand, and gravel, up 15.2%. Declining commodities included iron and steel scrap, down 21.8%, metallic ores, down 16.7%, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 15.1%. Coal declined 9.1%.
Canadian freight carload volume continued to fare better than its U.S. counterpart, up 2% compared with the same week last year. Canadian intermodal volume also rose, up a robust 7.3%. Mexican freight carload volume also did well, up 5.1% compared with the same week last year, while Mexican intermodal volume gained a similar percentage, up 5.8%.
Combined North American freight carload volume for the first 36 weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was down 1.3% when measured against the comparable time period in 2011, while combined North American intermodal volume for the first 36 weeks was up 4.7%.