UpdateCanadian weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 24.9%

23 September 2010 19:45  [Source: ICIS news]

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

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose 24.9% last week from the same period in 2009, marking their 37th consecutive weekly increase this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 18 September were 14,836, compared with 11,877 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 16.5% year-over-year increase in Canadian chemical carloads in the previous week ended 11 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 18 September, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up 23.4% to 529,275, from 428,830 in the same period in 2009.

The association said that chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell 0.7% last week to 1,080, from 1,088 in the same week a year earlier.

For the year-to-date period, Mexican shipments were up 0.3%, to 41,794, from 41,670 in the same period last year.

The AAR reported earlier on Thursday that US chemical railcar traffic rose 5.3% for the week and was up 10.3% year to date to 18 September.

Overall chemical railcar shipments for all of North America - US, Canada and Mexico - rose 10.8% for the week ended 18 September, to 44,969, from 40,568.

For the year-to-date period to 18 September, overall North American chemical railcar traffic was up 13.9% to 1,639,207, from 1,438,758 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 8.1% to 304,679 from 281,872, and was up 7.1% to 10,527,927 year-to-date to 18 September. 

For all of North America, total railcar traffic rose 8.7%, to 392,294 from 360,820, and was up 9.8% to 13,717,171 year-to-date to 18 September.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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