UpdateCanada chem rail traffic falls for seventh week in a row

23 February 2012 19:50  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar traffic data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads fell by 6.6% year on year in the week ended on 18 February, marking their seventh 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 11,128, down from 11,913 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week ended 11 February saw a year-on-year decline of 10.9%.

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 from 1 January to 18 February, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down by 12.7% year on year to 69,773.

The AAR said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell by 3.7% year on year to 1,105 carloads. Year to date to 18 February, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 5.6% to 7,539.

US chemical railcar traffic fell 1.0% year on year for the week ended 18 February, marking its third decline so far this year.

There were 30,408 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 30,711 in the same week of 2011. In the previous week ended 11 February, US weekly chemical railcar shipments were almost flat year on year.

Year to date from 1 January and 18 February 2012, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 0.1%, to 209,590, compared with the same period in the previous year.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar traffic for the 19 high-volume freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR fell by 5.2% year on year to 281,989 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 18 February was down by 2.8% to 374,603.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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