UpdateCanada chemical rail traffic falls for 14th week in a row

12 April 2012 20:38  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar traffic data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads fell by 14.7% year on year in the week ended on 7 April, marking their fourteenth 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 10,633, down from 12,467 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 31 March, saw a year-on-year decline of 18.5%.

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 7 April, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down by 12.9% year on year to 144,360.

The AAR said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell by 9.0% year on year to 1,179 carloads. From 1 January to 7 April, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 1.7% to 16,342.

US chemical railcar traffic fell by 3.7% year on year for the week ended 7 April, marking its fifth decline in a row and the ninth decline so far this year.

There were 28,614 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 29,708 in the corresponding week of 2011. In the previous week, ended 31 March, US weekly chemical railcar loadings fell by 5.3%.

From 1 January to 7 April, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 1.5%, to 422,485, 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 7.7% year on year to 270,974 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 7 April was down by 7.2% to 358,062.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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