US weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 18.7%

30 December 2009 16:49  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Chemical shipments on US railroads rose 18.7% last week from the same time last year, marking their tenth increase this year and the seventh in a row, an industry association said on Wednesday.

Chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 26 December were 21,694, up 3,421 car loads from 18,273 in the same week last year, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

The increase for the week comes after a 13.9% year-over-year increase in the previous week ended on 19 December.

The weekly chemical railcar loadings data are seen as an important measure of chemical industry activity and demand. Railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical volumes by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest.

The increase in chemical shipments compares with a 1.1% year-over-year decline in overall weekly railcar shipments for the 19 commodity categories tracked by the AAR. However, despite the decline, all of the categories expect shipments of coal and coke registered a year-over-year increase last week.

Year-to-date to 26 December, US chemical railcar loadings were down 10.1% to 1,339,779 from 1,489,543 in the year-earlier period.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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