UpdateCanadian weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 27.1%

12 August 2010 20:50  [Source: ICIS news]

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

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose 27.1% last week from the same period in 2009, marking their 31st consecutive weekly increase this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 7 August were 13,916, compared with 10,945 carloads 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 16.6% year-over-year increase in Canadian chemical carloads in the previous week ended 31 July.

The weekly chemical railcar loadings data are seen as an important real-time 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 7 August, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up 25.0% to 443,009, from 354,334 in the same period in 2009.

The association said that chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell 14.5% last week, to 965, from 1,128 in the same week a year earlier. Chemical railcar shipments have been hindered in past weeks because of floods in northern Mexico.

For the year-to-date period, Mexican shipments were up 2.1%, to 35,170, from 34,450 in the same period last year.

The AAR reported earlier on Thursday that US chemical railcar traffic for the week ended 7 August rose 4.3% to 28,765, up by 1,182 carloads from 27,583 in the same week last year.

Year-to-date to 7 August, US chemical railcar loadings were up 11.3% to 892,950 from 802,232 in the year-earlier period.

Overall chemical railcar shipments for all of North America - US, Canada and Mexico - rose 10.1% for the week ended 7 August, to 43,646 from 39,656.

For the year-to-date period to 7 August, overall North American chemical railcar traffic was up 15.1% to 1,371,129, from 1,191,016 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 groups tracked by the AAR rose 3.5%, to 284,507 from 274,800, and was up 7.2% to 8,745,778 year-to-date to 7 August. 

For all of North America, total railcar traffic rose 7.9%, to 368,576 from 341,487 for the week, and was up 10.1% to 11,409,148 year-to-date to 7 August.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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