UpdateCanadian weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 16.9%

04 November 2010 18:24  [Source: ICIS news]

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

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose 16.9% last week from the same period in 2009, marking their 43rd consecutive weekly increase this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 30 October were 15,211, up from 13,016 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 21.6% year-over-year increase in Canadian chemical carloads in the previous week ended 23 October, the AAR said.

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 30 October, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up 23.4% to 621,664, up from 503,839 in the same period in 2009.

The association said that chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell 21.6% last week to 909, from 1,159 in the same week a year earlier.

For the year-to-date period, Mexican shipments were down 1.3%, to 47,922, from 48,550 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 5.6% for the week and was up 9.9% year-to-date to 30 October.

Overall chemical railcar shipments for all of North America - US, Canada and Mexico - rose 8.3% for the week ended 30 October, to 45,707 from 42,201.

For the year-to-date period to 30 October, overall North American chemical railcar traffic was up 13.6% to 1,911,420, from 1,682,827 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 6.3% to 292,884 from 275,590, and was up 7.3% to 12,324,661 year-to-date to 30 October.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic rose 6.8% to 383,795 from 359,367, and was up 9.7% to 16,058,267 year-to-date to 30 October.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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