In annual figures released Wednesday, tonne-km was down by 13.5% in the
11 months to 1.7 trillion. Similarly, each freight subcategory
experienced falls in traffic volume in 2009. Ferrous metal scrap was
the largest casualty with a 36.3% decline to 15.6 tonnes, closely
followed by construction which fell by 36.2% to 120 million tonnes. The
largest sectors, bituminous coal and oil and petroleum products,
dropped by 7.9% to 250 million tonnes and 2.6% to 207.4 million tonnes
Elsewhere, forest products declined by 28.9% to 37.1 million tonnes,
ferrous metals by 21% to 58.6 million tonnes, cement by 19.9% to 27.5
million tonnes, chemical and mineral fertilizers by 10.7% to 35.4
million tonnes, coke by 10.1% to 9.5 million tonnes, iron and manganese
ore by 8.9% to 87.3 million tonnes, and grain and milled products by
6.6% to 20.4 million tonnes.
Passenger numbers also declined between January and November by 12.3%.
While the November figures are encouraging, they did include a 2.6%
drop for coke and bituminous coal, a 9.4% fall for forest products, a
17.1% fall for grain and milled products, and a 21.3% fall for
construction freight. Freight volume did, however, grow by 4.8%
year-on-year in November to 164.8 billion tonne-km.