UpdateCanadian weekly chemical railcar traffic soars 35.7%

21 October 2010 18:32  [Source: ICIS news]

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

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose 35.7% last week from the same period in 2009, marking their 41st consecutive weekly increase this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 16 October were 15,755, up from 11,609 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 25.2% year-over-year increase in Canadian chemical carloads in the previous week ended 9 October.

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 16 October, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up 23.6% to 591,412, from 478,457 in the same period in 2009.

The association said that chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose 0.3% last week to 1,107, from 1,104 in the same week a year earlier.

For the year-to-date period, Mexican shipments were down 0.6%, to 46,043, from 46,299 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 9.3% for the week and was up 10.1% year to date to 16 October.

Overall chemical railcar shipments for all of North America - US, Canada and Mexico - rose 16.9% for the week ended 16 October, to 45,495 from 38,905.

For the year-to-date period to 16 October, overall North American chemical railcar traffic was up 13.8% to 1,821,150, from 1,600,308 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 10.1% to 303,664 from 275,688, and was up 7.3% to 11,728,922 year-to-date to 16 October.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic rose 10.8%, to 395,724 from 357,168, and was up 9.8% to 15,282,678 year-to-date to 16 October.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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