Canadian railway CN (NYSE: CNI) moved 2.95 million metric tons (MMT) of western Canadian grain in March, beating a previous record of 2.74 MMT set in 2020. March’s total is also 19% higher than the three-year average of 2.47 MMT.
Since the start of the 2020-2021 crop year on Aug. 1, CN has moved 22.7 MMT of Canadian grain, a 19% increase from 19.1 MMT, which was the previous year-to-date record, set in 2018-2019.
In the first quarter of this year, CN moved 8.2 MMT of Canadian grain, beating a first-quarter record of 7 MMT set in 2017.
Year-to date western Canada containerized grain shipments of almost 800,000 metric tons are also “on record pace,” CN said.
“Since the beginning of 2021, Canadian grain farmers, along with all of our supply chain partners, have worked closely with CN’s railroaders to deliver record grain performance despite the pandemic and the very difficult operating conditions we faced in February,” said James Cairns, senior vice president of rail centric supply chain for CN.
“We are proud of these record results as we also respond to record demand for the movement of other commodities, such as potash, overseas and domestic intermodal, forest products, and propane. I want to personally thank CN railroaders and our agri-food supply chain partners for successfully delivering another record month of grain movement while keeping pace with higher than previous year’s overall traffic levels on CN’s network,” Cairns said in a statement.
CN will release its financial results for the first quarter of 2021 on April 26.