US weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 1.6% year on year

03 November 2011 18:08  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemical railcar traffic on US railroads rose by 1.6% year on year for the week ended on 29 October, according to data released by a rail industry group on Thursday.

There were 30,047 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 29,584 in the same week in 2010, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

In the previous week, ended 22 October, US chemical railcar traffic rose by 2.9% year on year.

The weekly chemical railcar loadings data are an important real-time 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 rose by 5.2% to 307,900 carloads.

For the month of October, overall carloads were up 1.7% year on year to 1,215,627.

“While there is clearly room for improvement, October rail traffic appears to indicate that we are still in a slowly growing economy,” said AAR senior vice president John Gray.

“Things can change quickly, of course, and the growth rates are certainly not as robust as we would like to see, but we at least appear to be headed in the right direction,” Gray said in commenting on the October data.

Year to date to 29 October, US chemical railcar loadings were up by 4.0% year on year to 1,291,702 carloads.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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