UpdateCanadian weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 16.5%

16 September 2010 20:00  [Source: ICIS news]

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

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose 16.5% last week from the same period in 2009, marking their 36th consecutive weekly increase this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 11 September were 13,867, compared with 11,903 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 14.9% year-over-year increase in Canadian chemical carloads in the previous week ended 4 September.

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 11 September, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up 23.4% to 514,439, from 416,953 in the same period in 2009.

The association said that chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell 17.6% last week to 1,060, from 1,287 in the same week a year earlier. Mexican railcar traffic has been hampered by massive flooding in the country’s southeast.

For the year-to-date period, Mexican shipments were up 0.3%, to 40,714, from 40,582 in the same period last year.

The AAR reported earlier on Thursday that US chemical railcar traffic rose 7.1% for the week and was up 10.5% year to date to 11 September.

Overall chemical railcar shipments for all of North America - US, Canada and Mexico - rose 9.2% for the week ended 11 September, to 41,962 from 38,426.

For the year-to-date period to 11 September, overall North American chemical railcar traffic was up 14.0% to 1,594,238, from 1,398,190 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 5.1% to 277,530 from 264,112, and was up 7.0% to 10,223,248 year-to-date to 11 September. 

For all of North America, total railcar traffic rose 7.0%, to 362,957 from 339,100, and was up 9.9% to 13,324,877 year-to-date to 11 September.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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