UpdateCanada weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 25.2%

20 May 2010 20:04  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian, Mexican and overall North American shipment data)

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose 25.2% last week from the same time in 2009, marking their 19th increase in a row this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 15 May were 14,012, up by 2,816 carloads from 11,196 in the same week last year, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

The increase for the week came after a 32.6% year-over-year increase in Canadian 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. In Canada, chemical railcar traffic accounts for about 20% of overall railcar shipments, compared with around 10% in the US.

For the year-to-date period to 15 May, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up 28.3% to 279,892 from 218,117 in the same period in 2009.

Meanwhile, Mexican chemical railcar traffic fell 0.5% last week to 1,157 from 1,163 in the same week a year earlier.

For the year-to-date period, Mexican shipments were up 8.0% to 21,832 from 20,209 in the same period last year.

The AAR reported earlier on Thursday that US chemical railcar traffic rose 12.1% or 3,057 carloads to 28,417 from 25,360 in the same week last year.

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.

Total chemical railcar shipments for all of North America – US, Canada and Mexico - rose 15.6% for the week ended on 15 May to 43,586 from 37,719 in the same week in 2009.

For the year-to-date period to 15 May, overall North American chemical railcar traffic was up 17.9% to 852,163 from 722,914 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 16.6% to 290,263 from 248,921 and was up 6.3% to 5,348,826 year to date to 15 May. 

For all of North America, total railcar traffic rose 19.9% to 376,661 from 314,130 for the week and was up 9.3% to 6,982,972 year to date to 15 May.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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