US weekly chemical railcar traffic falls for first time in 6 months

04 March 2011 17:01  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on US railroads fell 0.3% in the week ended 26 February compared with the same period in 2010, a rail industry group said on Friday, marking their first decline in six months.

There were 31,129 chemical railcar loadings last week, down by 80 carloads from the 31,209 loadings in the same week a year earlier, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

The previous week ended 19 February saw a year-on-year rise of 5.7%.

The last drop in chemical railcar loadings was reported in the week ended 12 SeptemberWeekly chemical railcar loadings data are an important real-time measure of chemical industry activity and demand. Railcar loadings represent about 20% of US chemical volumes by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest.

Overall US weekly railcar shipments for the 19 high-volume freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR rose 2.4% to 296,252.

Year to date to 26 February, US chemical railcar loadings were up 4.9%, to 240,686 carloads from 229,435 in the year-earlier period.

Read Paul Hodges’ Chemicals and the Economy Blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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