UpdateCanadian weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 13.8%

19 August 2010 18:48  [Source: ICIS news]

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

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose 13.8% last week from the same period in 2009, marking their 32nd consecutive weekly increase this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 14 August were 14,200, compared with 12,480 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 27.1% year-over-year increase in Canadian chemical carloads in the previous week ended 7 August.

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 14 August, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up 24.6% to 457,209, from 366,814 in the same period in 2009.

The association said that chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell 9.5% last week, to 1,184, from 1,309 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 1.7%, to 36,354, from 35,759 in the same period last year.

The AAR reported earlier on Thursday that US chemical railcar traffic rose 6.8% for the week and was up 11.2% year to date to 14 August.

Overall chemical railcar shipments for all of North America - US, Canada and Mexico - rose 8.4% for the week ended 14 August, to 44,769 from 41,313.

For the year-to-date period to 14 August, overall North American chemical railcar traffic was up 14.9% to 1,415,898, from 1,232,329 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 7.1% to 295,948 from 276,239, and was up 7.2% to 9,041,726 year-to-date to 14 August. 

For all of North America, total railcar traffic rose 9.2%, to 383,135 from 350,943, and was up 10.1% to 11,792,283 year-to-date to 14 August.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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