UpdateCanadian weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 15.4%

07 October 2010 18:34  [Source: ICIS news]

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

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose 15.4% last week from the same period in 2009, marking their 39th consecutive weekly increase this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 2 October were 15,650, up from 13,565 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 26.1% year-over-year increase in Canadian chemical carloads in the previous week ended 25 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 2 October, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up 23.3% to 560,500, from 454,746 in the same period in 2009.

The association said that chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose 2.2% last week to 1,009, from 987 in the same week a year earlier.

For the year-to-date period, Mexican shipments were down 0.1%, to 43,946, from 44,009 in the same period last year. Mexican railcar shipments were hindered by flooding in recent weeks.

The AAR reported earlier on Thursday that US chemical railcar traffic rose 6.7% for the week and was up 10.2% year to date to 2 October.

Overall chemical railcar shipments for all of North America - US, Canada and Mexico - rose 9.3% for the week ended 2 October, to 46,532 from 42,562.

For the year-to-date period to 2 October, overall North American chemical railcar traffic was up 13.8% to 1,731,495, from 1,521,691 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 7.7% to 299,394 from 277,864, and was up 7.2% to 11,128,229 year-to-date to 2 October. 

For all of North America, total railcar traffic rose 7.8%, to 391,943 from 363,664, and was up 9.8% to 14,501,268 year-to-date to 2 October.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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