UpdateCanada chemical railcar traffic slows to 0.4% growth

27 January 2011 22:03  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds Canadian and Mexican chemical rail traffic data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose 0.4% last week from the same period a year ago, marking their lowest growth rate in over a year, according to data released by an industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 22 January were 10,807, up by only 45 carloads from 10,762, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The increase for the week came after a 17.9% year-on-year increase in Canadian chemical carloads in the previous week ended 15 January.

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.

Year to date to 22 January, Canadian chemicals railcar shipments were up 12.2% to 33,513, from 29,863 in the year-earlier period.

The association said that chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell 19.7% last week, to 1,019 from 1,269 in the same week a year earlier.

Year to date to 22 January, Mexican chemical railcar shipments were down 12.2%, to 3,009 from 3,428 in the year earlier period.

Chemical shipments on US railroads rose 3.1% last week compared with the same period a year earlier.

There were 29,664 chemical railcar loadings in the week ended 22 January, up by 879 carloads from 28,785 in the same week a year earlier.

The previous week ended 15 January saw a year-on-year rise of 9.9%.

Year to date to 22 January, US chemical railcar loadings rose 6.9% to 89,906 carloads, from 84,083 in the year-earlier period.

The increase in weekly US chemical carloads compares with a 1.5% year-on-year increase, to 282,837 from 278,527 in overall US railcar shipments for the 19 high-volume freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR.

For all of North America, total weekly railcar traffic fell 0.8% from the year-earlier week, to 363,551 from 366,358, as the 1.5% rise in US shipments was more than offset by a 10.1% decline in Canadian shipments.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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