UpdateCanadian weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 22.9%

11 November 2010 19:15  [Source: ICIS news]

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

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose 22.9% last week from the same period in 2009, marking their 44th consecutive weekly increase this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 6 November were 15,887, up from 12,926 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 16.9% year-over-year increase in Canadian chemical carloads in the previous week ended 30 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 6 November, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up 23.4% to 637,551, from 516,765 in the same period in 2009.

The association said that chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell 9.8% last week to 991, from 1,099 in the same week a year earlier.

For the year-to-date period, Mexican shipments were down 1.5%, to 48,913, from 49,649 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 9.0% for the week and was up 9.8% year-to-date to 6 November.

Overall chemical railcar shipments for all of North America - US, Canada and Mexico - rose 13.0% for the week ended 6 November, to 45,354 from 40,146.

For the year-to-date period to 6 November, overall North American chemical railcar traffic was up 13.6% to 1,956,774, from 1,722,973 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 4.9% to 288,056 from 274,603, and was up 7.3% to 12,612,717 year-to-date to 6 November.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic rose 5.9% to 379,358 from 358,120, and was up 9.6% to 16,437,625 year-to-date to 6 November.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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