UpdateCanada chemical railcar traffic falls for fourth week in a row

29 December 2011 17:59  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar traffic data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads fell by 0.9% year on year in the week ended on 24 December, marking their fourth consecutive decline and the ninth decline this year, according to data released by an industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 10,522, down from 10,616 in the same week a year earlier, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 17 December, saw a year-on-year decline of 4.2%.

The weekly chemical railcar loadings data are seen as important real-time measures of chemical industry activity and demand. Canada’s chemical industry transports two-thirds of its annual shipments on the country’s railway system.

Year to date to 24 December, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up by 8.0% to 565,068.

The AAR said chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose by 34.6% year on year to 1,166 loadings, from 866 in the same week a year earlier.

Year to date to 24 December, Mexican chemical railcar shipments were up by 7.7% to 59,745.

US chemical railcar traffic rose 14.0% year on year for the week ended 24 December, rebounding after four declines in a row.

There were 29,094 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 25,526 in the same week in 2010.

In the previous week ended 17 December, US weekly chemical railcar shipments fell by 0.3% year on year - the fourth consecutive decline and the eighth decline this year.

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 all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 24 December rose by 12.4% to 379,022.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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