UpdateCanadian weekly chemical railcar traffic jumps 29.1%

09 December 2010 20:38  [Source: ICIS news]

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

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose 29.1% last week from the same period in 2009, marking their 48th consecutive weekly increase this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 4 December were 16,639, up from 12,893 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 4.0% year-on-year increase in Canadian chemical carloads in the previous week ended 27 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 4 December, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up 22.8% to 699,736, from 569,942 in the same period in 2009.

The association said that chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell 8.4% last week to 856, down from 935 in the same week a year earlier.

For the year-to-date period, Mexican shipments were down 2.4% to 52,582, from 53,864 in the same period last year. Mexican railcar shipments were hindered by flooding in recent months.

The AAR reported earlier on Thursday that US chemical railcar traffic rose 9.4% for the week and was up also by 9.4% year-to-date to 4 December.

Overall chemical railcar shipments for all of North America - US, Canada and Mexico - rose 14.9% for the week ended 4 December, to 49,675, from 43,247.

For the year-to-date period to 4 December, overall North American chemical railcar traffic was up 13.1% to 2,137,761, from 1,889,777 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 6.8% to 303,570 from 284,198, and was up 7.1% to 13,765,857 year-to-date to 4 December.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic rose 9.6% to 393,935 from 359,393, and was up 9.3% to 17,943,335 year-to-date to 4 December.

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