UpdateCanada chemical rail traffic falls for third week in a row

26 January 2012 20:10  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar traffic data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads fell by 16.4% year on year in the week ended on 21 January, marking their third 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 9,048, down from 10,823 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week ended 14 January saw a year-on-year decline of 11.9%.

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 21 January, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down 17.7% year on year to 27,620.

The AAR said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose by 11.5% year on year to 1,099, from 986 in the same week a year earlier. Year to date to 21 January Mexican chemical railcar loadings were down 0.1% to 3,000.

US chemical railcar traffic rose by 1.1% year on year for the week ended 21 January, marking the second increase in a row.

There were 30,060 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 29,737 in the same week in 2011. In the previous week ended 14 January, US weekly chemical railcar shipments rose by 1.8% year on year, rebounding from a sharp decline in the week ended 7 January.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar traffic for the 19 high-volume freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR rose by 1.6% year on year to 287,734 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 21 January rose by 1.4% to 369,758.

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


By: Stefan Baumgarten
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