UpdateCanadian weekly chemical railcar shipments rise 21.6%

16 December 2010 22:04  [Source: ICIS news]

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

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose 21.6% last week from the same period in 2009, marking their 49th consecutive weekly increase this year, an industry association said on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 11 December were 15,635, up from 12,858 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 29.1% year-on-year increase in Canadian chemical carloads in the previous week ended 4 December.

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 11 December, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up 22.7% to 715,371, from 582,800 in the same period in 2009.

The association said that chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell 5.9% last week to 1,046, down from 1,111 in the same week a year earlier.

For the year-to-date period, Mexican shipments were down 2.5% to 53,628, from 54,975 in the same period last year. Mexican railcar shipments were hindered by flooding in recent months.

The AAR reported on Thursday that US chemical railcar traffic rose 10.3% for the week and was up by 9.5% year-to-date to 11 December.

Overall chemical railcar shipments for all of North America - US, Canada and Mexico - rose 13.5% for the week ended 11 December, to 45,077 from 39,713.

For the year-to-date period to 11 December, overall North American chemical railcar traffic was up 13.1% to 2,182,838, from 1,929,490 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 10.2% to 286,391 from 259,998, and was up 7.1% to 14,052,248 year-to-date to 11 December.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic rose 10.2% to 374,368 from 339,602, and was up 9.3% to 18,317,703 year-to-date to 11 December.

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