UpdateCanadian weekly chemical railcar traffic jumps 21.6%

28 October 2010 22:02  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose 21.6% last week from the same period in 2009, marking their 42nd consecutive weekly increase this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 23 October were 15,041, up from 12,366 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 35.7% year-over-year increase in Canadian chemical carloads in the previous week ended 16 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 23 October, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up 23.6% to 606,453, from 490,823 in the same period in 2009.

The association said that chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell 11.2% last week to 970, from 1,092 in the same week a year earlier.

For the year-to-date period, Mexican shipments were down 0.8%, to 47,013 from 47,391 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 6.3% for the week and was up 10.0% year-to-date to 23 October.

Overall chemical railcar shipments for all of North America - US, Canada and Mexico - rose 10.5% for the week ended 23 October, to 44,563 from 40,318.

For the year-to-date period to 23 October, overall North American chemical railcar traffic was up 13.7% to 1,865,713, from 1,640,626 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 9.6% to 302,855 from 276,449, and was up 7.4% to 12,031,777 year-to-date to 23 October.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic rose 8.7%, to 391,794 from 360,322, and was up 9.8% to 15,674,472 year-to-date to 23 October.

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By: Ben DuBose
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