UpdateCanada weekly chem rail traffic rises after 14 straight drops

19 April 2012 19:32  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar traffic data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose by 9.2% year on year in the week ended on 14 April, marking their first increase this year after 14 declines in a row, according to data released by a rail industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 12,297, up from 11,266 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 7 April, saw a year-on-year decline of 14.7%.

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 14 April, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down by 11.5% year on year to 156,657.

The AAR said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose by 5.5% year on year to 1,333 carloads. From 1 January to 14 April, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 2.0% to 17,675.

US chemical railcar traffic rose by 3.9% year on year for the week ended 14 April as shipments rebounded after five weeks of declines.

There were 31,405 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 30,235 in the corresponding week of 2011. In the previous week, ended 7 April, US weekly chemical railcar loadings fell by 3.7%, marking their fifth decline in a row and the ninth decline so far this year

From 1 January to 14 April, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 1.1%, to 453,890, 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 6.4% year on year to 276,789 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 14 April was down by 4.4% to 370,135 carloads.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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