US chemical railcar traffic rebounds after weeks of declines

29 December 2011 17:10  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US chemical railcar traffic rose 14.0% year on year for the week ended 24 December, rebounding after four declines in a row, according to data released by a rail industry group on Thursday.

There were 29,094 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 25,526 in the same week in 2010, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

In the previous week ended 17 December, US weekly chemical railcar shipments fell by 0.3% year on year, marking their fourth consecutive decline and the eighth decline this 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 transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar traffic for the 19 high-volume freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR rose by 11.9% year on year to 287,137 carloads.

For the year to date to 24 December, US chemical railcar loadings were up by 3.5% year on year to 1,519,394 carloads.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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