UpdateCanada chem rail traffic falls for second week in a row

19 January 2012 17:52  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar traffic data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads fell by 11.9% year on year in the week ended on 14 January, marking their second decline in as many weeks this year, according to data released by an industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 10,162, down from 11,540 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week ended 7 January saw a year-on-year decline of 25.0%.

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 14 January, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down 18.4% year on year to 18,572.

The AAR said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose by 2.9% year on year to 1,070, from 1,040 in the same week a year earlier.

Year to date to 14 January Mexican chemical railcar loadings were down 5.8% to 1,901.

US chemical railcar traffic rose by 1.8% year on year for the week ended 14 January, rebounding from a sharp decline in the previous week.

There were 30,647 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 30,108 in the same week in 2011. In the previous week ended 7 January, US weekly chemical railcar shipments fell by 10.6% year on year.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar traffic for the 19 high-volume freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR rose by 5.5% year on year to 298,560 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 14 January rose by 5.2% to 387,548.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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