UpdateCanada weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 0.7%

03 May 2012 20:56  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar traffic data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose by 0.7% year on year in the week ended 28 April, marking their third increase in a row after 14 straight weekly declines, according to data released by a rail industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 11,760, up from 11,673 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 21 April, saw a year-on-year increase of 9.4% year in chemical shipments.

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 28 April, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down by 9.6% year on year to 180,685.

The AAR said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose by 4.2% year on year to 1,379 carloads. From 1 January to 28 April, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 1.9% to 20,383.

US chemical railcar traffic fell by 1.4% year on year for the week ended 28 April, marking their tenth decline so far this year.

There were 31,775 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 32,226 in the corresponding week of 2011. In the previous week, ended 21 April, US weekly chemical railcar loadings rose by 5.4% year on year - the second increase in a row after five consecutive declines.

From 1 January to 28 April, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 0.8% to 516,512, compared with the same period of last year.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar loadings for the 19 high-volume freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR fell by 4.1% year on year to 283,080 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 28 April was down by 2.7% to 379,158 carloads.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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