UpdateCanadian weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 4.0%

02 December 2010 19:17  [Source: ICIS news]

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

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose 4.0% last week from the same period in 2009, marking their 47th consecutive weekly increase this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 27 November were 14,205, up from 13,659 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 16.3% year-on-year increase in Canadian chemical carloads in the previous week ended 20 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 27 November, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up 22.6% to 683,097, from 557,049 in the same period in 2009.

The association said that chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell 20.7% last week to 987, down from 1,245 in the same week a year earlier.

For the year-to-date period, Mexican shipments were down 2.3% to 51,726, from 52,929 in the same period last year. Mexican railcar shipments were hindered by flooding in past weeks.

The AAR reported earlier on Thursday that US chemical railcar traffic rose 2.8% for the week and was up 9.4% year-to-date to 27 November.

Overall chemical railcar shipments for all of North America - US, Canada and Mexico - rose 2.5% for the week ended 27 November, to 40,209 from 39,233.

For the year-to-date period to 27 November, overall North American chemical railcar traffic was up 13.1% to 2,088,086, from 1,846,530 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 3.2% to 254,121 from 246,180, and was up 7.1% to 13,462,287 year-to-date to 27 November.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic rose 2.5% to 336,129 from 327,815, and was up 9.3% to 17,549,400 year-to-date to 27 November.

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