US weekly chemical railcar traffic falls 3.2% year on year

08 September 2011 17:51  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemical traffic on US railroads fell by 3.2% year on year in the week to 3 September  marking its first decline in more than four months and only the third decline so far this year, according to data released by a rail industry group on Thursday.

There were 30,140 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 31,127 in the same week in 2010, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

In the previous week ended 27 August, US chemical railcar traffic was up by 0.7% year on year.

The weekly chemical railcar loadings data are an important realtime measure of chemical industry activity and demand. Railcar loadings represent about 20% of US chemical shipments by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar shipments for the 19 high-volume freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR fell by 0.4% to 303,260. The year-on-year decline for the week was led by lower shipments of chemicals, coal and grain.

Year to date to 3 September, US chemical railcar loadings were up by 4.4% year on year to 1,056,859 carloads.

Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in his Chemicals and the Economy Blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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