UpdateUS weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 13.3%

28 January 2010 22:23  [Source: ICIS news]

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TORONTO (ICIS news)--Chemical shipments on US railroads rose 13.3% last week from the same time last year, marking their 11th increase in a row and the third this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 23 January were 28,749, up 3,364 car loads from 25,385 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 13.0% year-over-year increase in the previous week ended on 16 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 3.9% year-over-year increase in overall weekly railcar shipments for the 19 commodity categories tracked by the AAR.

Year-to-date to 23 January, US chemical railcar loadings were up 13.6% to 84,063 from 73,989 in the year-earlier period.

The AAR also provided comparable chemical railcar shipment data for Canada, Mexico and the whole of North America.

Canadian chemical rail traffic for the week ended on 23 January rose 21.4% to 15,244 from 12,555 in the same week last year.

For the year-to-date period, Canadian shipments were up 18.0% to 44,267 from 37,505 shipments in the same period in 2008.

Mexican weekly chemical rail traffic rose 30.6% to 1,299 from 995 in the same week a year earlier.

For the year-to-date period, Mexican shipments were up 7.8% to 3,314 from 3,075 in the same period last year.

For all of North America, chemical railcar shipments rose 16.3% for the week ended on 23 January to 45,292 from 38,935 in the same week in 2008.

For the year-to-date , overall North American chemical railcar traffic was up 14.9% to 131,644 from 114,569 in the year-earlier period.

Overall, the AAR tracks 19 carload commodity categories.

From the same week last year, total US weekly railcar traffic for the 19 carload commodity categories rose 3.9% to 277,420 but was down 3.2% to and was up 778,246 year to date.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic rose 6.6% to 365,641 for the week, and was up 1.7% to 1,032,527 year to date to 23 January.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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