UpdateCanadian weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 26.1%

30 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 26.1% last week from the same period in 2009, marking their 38th consecutive weekly increase this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 25 September were 15,575, compared with 12,351 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 24.9% year-over-year increase in Canadian chemical carloads in the previous week ended 18 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 25 September, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up 23.5% to 544,850, from 441,181 in the same period in 2009.

The association said that chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell 15.5% last week to 1,143, from 1,352 in the same week a year earlier. Rail shipments have been hindered by flooding in southeast Mexico.

For the year-to-date period, Mexican shipments were down 0.2%, to 42,937, from 43,022 in the same period last year.

The AAR reported earlier on Thursday that US chemical railcar traffic rose 8.9% for the week and was up 10.3% year to date to 25 September.

Overall chemical railcar shipments for all of North America - US, Canada and Mexico - rose 13.3% for the week ended 25 September, to 45,756 from 40,371.

For the year-to-date period to 25 September, overall North American chemical railcar traffic was up 13.9% to 1,684,963, from 1,479,129 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 10.7% to 300,908  271,807, and was up 7.2% to 10,828,835 year-to-date to 25 September. 

For all of North America, total railcar traffic rose 11.1%, to 392,154 from 353,002, and was up 9.9% to 14,109,325 year-to-date to 25 September.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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