US weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 12.1% year over year

20 May 2010 18:52  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Chemical shipments on US railroads rose 12.1% last week from the same time in 2009, marking their 27th increase in a row and the 19th this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Chemical railcar loadings for the week ended 15 May were 28,417, up by 3,057 carloads from 25,360 in the same week last year, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

The increase for the week came after an 14.6% year-over-year increase in chemical carloads in the previous week ended on 8 May.

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 compared with a 16.6% year-over-year increase in overall weekly railcar shipments for the 19 commodity categories tracked by the AAR. All categories, apart from pulp and paper products, recorded year-over-year increases last week. However, carloads were still down 11.9% from the same week in 2008, the association said.

Year-to-date to 15 May, US chemical railcar loadings were up 13.6% to 550,439 from 484,588 in the year-earlier period.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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