Canadian railways expect weaker crop year after moving record grain in 2020-2021


TORONTO — Canada’s two largest railways say weather will reduce the grain crop in the coming year after moving record amounts of Canadian grain in the past year.

Canadian National Railway Co. moved 31 million tonnes as of the end of July, beating the previous record of 29.4 million tonnes a year earlier and above its forecast for the year.

Calgary-based Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. says it moved more than 30 million tonnes, up from 29.52 million tonnes during the 2019-2020 crop year.

The railways were helped in transporting the bountiful harvest by investing in the purchase of larger hopper cars.

The railways say record high temperatures and drought in Western Canada have stressed crops and could have a negative impact on yields if conditions persist.

Montreal-based CN says it expects total available supplies should be down 8.6 per cent to 80.7 million tonnes and below the three-year average of 86.1 million tonnes.

“CN’s grain movement has been resilient during the pandemic, achieving 14 straight months of Canadian grain volume shipment records,” stated CEO JJ Ruest in a news release.

“We recognize that growing conditions across much of the Prairies have been very challenging as many producers face extremely hot and dry weather this year.”

Exports are also expected to be below the three-year average levels at 45.2 million tonnes and significantly below the 52.2 million tonnes in 2020-2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CNR, TSX:CP)