UpdateCanada chem rail traffic rises for fifth straight week

17 May 2012 18:11  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar traffic data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose by 5.0% year on year in the week ended 12 May, marking their fifth 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 11,509, up from 10,962 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 5 May, saw a year-on-year increase of 7.6% 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 12 May, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down by 8.0% year on year to 204,396.

The AAR said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell by 13.3% year on year to 1,137 carloads. From 1 January to 12 May, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 0.6% to 22,685.

US chemical railcar shipments fell by 4.0% year on year for the week ended 12 May, marking their eleventh decline so far this year.

There were 29,437 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 30,679 in the corresponding week of 2011. In the previous week, ended 5 May, US weekly chemical railcar loadings rose by 0.8% year on year.

From 1 January to 12 May, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 0.9% to 576,391, 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 5.2% year on year to 279,063 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 12 May was down by 3.1% to 372,636 carloads.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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