UpdateCanadian weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 19.2%

18 November 2010 20:14  [Source: ICIS news]

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

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose 19.2% last week from the same period in 2009, marking their 45th consecutive weekly increase this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 13 November were 15,837, up from 13,291 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 22.9% year-over-year increase in Canadian chemical carloads in the previous week ended 6 November.

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 13 November, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up 23.3% to 653,388, from 530,056 in the same period in 2009.

The association said that chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell 6.6% last week to 971, from 1,040 in the same week a year earlier.

For the year-to-date period, Mexican shipments were down 1.6%, to 49,884, from 50,689 in the same period last year. Mexican railcar shipments were hindered by flooding in past weeks.

The AAR reported  that US chemical railcar traffic rose 4.1% for the week and was up 9.7% year-to-date to 13 November.

Overall chemical railcar shipments for all of North America - US, Canada and Mexico - rose 8.6% for the week ended 13 November, to 46,217 from 42,572.

For the year-to-date period to 13 November, overall North American chemical railcar traffic was up 13.4% to 2,002,991, from 1,765,545 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 5.8% to 297,269 from 281,017, and was up 7.2% to 12,909,986 year-to-date to 13 November.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic rose 6.4% to 388,820 from 365,550, and was up 9.6% to 16,826,445 year-to-date to 13 November.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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