UpdateCanada chem rail traffic stabilises after four weekly declines

05 January 2012 22:00  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar traffic data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose by 0.2% year on year in the week ended on 31 December after four consecutive declines, according to data released by an industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 10,397, up from 10,377 in the same week a year earlier, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 24 December, saw a year-on-year decline of 0.9% - the fourth consecutive tumble and the ninth decline in 2011.

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.

For the full year of 2011, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were up by 7.9% to 575,465.

The AAR said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose by 41% year on year to 1,087 loadings, from 769 in the same week a year earlier.

Year to date to 31 December, Mexican chemical railcar shipments were up by 8.8% to 61,214.

US chemical railcar traffic fell by 2.4% year on year for the week ended 31 December, marking its ninth decline in 2011.

There were 28,681 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 29,375 in the same week in 2010.

In the previous week, ended 24 December, US weekly chemical railcar shipments rose 14.0% year on year, rebounding after four consecutive declines.

For the full 12 months of 2011 ended 31 December, US chemical railcar loadings were up by 3.4% year on year to 1,548,075 carloads.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar traffic for the 19 high-volume freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR rose by 1.9% year on year to 245,666 carloads.

For the full year, overall US railcar traffic was up by 2.2% to 15,155,992 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 31 December rose by 3.1% to 322,463. For the full year, overall North American railcar traffic was up by 2.5% to 19,822,529 carloads.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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