US weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 13.0% year over year

21 January 2010 18:46  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Chemical shipments on US railroads rose 13.0% last week from the same time last year, marking their tenth increase in a row and the second this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 16 January were 27,405, up 3,147 car loads from 24,258 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 14.6% year-over-year increase in the previous week ended on 9 January.

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 0.8% year-over-year decline in overall weekly railcar shipments for the 19 commodity categories tracked by the AAR. The decline was led by coal, by far the largest shipment category. However, despite the overall decline, 12 of the 19 categories registered year-over-year increases last week.

Year-to-date to 16 January, US chemical railcar loadings were up 13.8% to 55,314 from 48,604 in the year-earlier period.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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