22 February 2010 19:41 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Chemical and oil barge traffic on US waterways rose slightly in January over the same month last year, largely because 2009 began with a slow start, a spokesman for the nation's largest barge company said on Monday.
Commenting on a monthly indicator by the Army Corps of Engineers, Kirby spokesman Steve Holcomb said the first month of 2009 "was just horrendous."
"Anything would be an improvement over that," Holcomb said.
An indicator tracked by the Army Corps' Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, showed that chemical and barge movements on US inland waterways increased somewhat in January this year over January 2009.
The indicator in January registered 12.6; in January 2009, it was 12.4. It was the second month in a row that the indicator increased over the year-earlier period.
The indicator tracks chemical and barge shipments on the Mississippi and Ohio river systems. The Corps' data does not track specific chemicals or petroleum products each month, only as a generic group.
Kirby executives have been cautious about predicting an economic recovery in progress.
"We're not going to beat any drums until we have a drum to beat," Holcomb said.
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