UpdateCanada chem railcar traffic falls for 11th week in a row

22 March 2012 18:47  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar traffic data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads fell by 14.1% year on year in the week ended on 17 March, marking their eleventh decline in as many weeks this year, according to data released by a rail industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 10,900, down from 12,688 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 10 March, saw a year-on-year decline of 12.9%.

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.

From 1 January to 17 March, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down by 12.4% year on year to 111,725.

The AAR said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell by 1.9% year on year to 1,374 carloads. From 1 January to 17 March, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 2.2% to 12,608.

US chemical railcar traffic fell by 2.8% year on year for the week ended 17 March, marking its second decline in a row and the sixth decline so far this year.

There were 29,747 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 30,610 in the corresponding week of 2011. In the previous week, ended 10 March, US weekly chemical railcar loadings fell by 1.7% year on year.

From 1 January to 17 March, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 0.7%, to 331,866, compared with the corresponding period of last year.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar loadings for the 19 high-volume freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR fell by 5.3% year on year to 278,420 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 17 March was down by 3.5% to 370,903.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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