Canada Markets

Railroads Achieve the First of Two Challenges in the West

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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Canadian Grain Commission data points to tight grain stocks in Vancouver terminals at the end of week 18 or the week ending Dec. 5. Stocks of wheat, at 63,500 mt (blue bar), are even tighter than shown when one considers that only 36,600 mt falls into the No. 1 CWRS stocks. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

The AG Transport Coalition Daily Network Status Report as of Dec. 12 shows West Coast hopper car unloads of 899 cars (Vancouver and Prince Rupert), the highest number reported since Nov. 13 or the day prior to the outages that effected the mainlines of both CN Rail and CP Rail. Dec. 12 represented the first day of week 20.

Vancouver cars unloaded on Dec. 12 totaled 757. On Nov. 14, or the day of the first weather event hit British Columbia, unloads were 740 cars, while there is a gap in reporting, but 761 cars are reported to unload on Nov. 9. The Daily Network Status points to a combination of cars on site, cars west of the Alberta/B.C. border and a favourable overall loads on wheels count; without disruptions, unloads should remain favourable during the next few days.

The next challenge will be to recover lost ground during the past month. According to Canadian Grain Commission weekly data, Vancouver terminal unloads were 77,900 metric tons in week 16, 77,300 mt in week 17 and 127,200 mt in week 18. The four-week average leading up to the week 16 weather event saw 499,380 mt unloaded (week 12 to week 15 average.) When compared to this four-week average, unloads in weeks 16-18 fell behind by 1.2 million mt, while this number will grow further when week 19 data is reported.

Cliff Jamieson can be reached at

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