UpdateCanada chemical railcar traffic falls 4.9%

09 August 2012 18:39  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar traffic data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads fell by 4.9% year on year for the week ended 4 August, marking their the second decline in a row and the 21st decline so far this year, according to data released by a rail industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 9,372, compared with 9,859 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 28 July, saw a year-on-year decline of 11.3% in chemical railcar shipments.

The weekly chemical railcar loadings data are seen as important real-time measures of chemical industry activity and demand. Canadian chemical producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with many firms relying exclusively on rail shipments.

From 1 January to 4 August, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down by 6.3% year on year to 329,173.

The AAR said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose by 14.8% year on year to 1,315. From 1 January to 4 August, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 6.7% to 38,609.

US chemical railcar traffic rose by 3.3% year on year for the week ended 4 August, marking its first increase after five declines in a row.

There were 29,960 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 29,003 in the corresponding week of 2011. In the previous week, ended 28 July, US weekly chemical railcar loadings fell by 0.7% year on year - the fifth decline in a row and the 20th decline so far this year.

From 1 January to 4 August, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 1.3% to 924,850 compared with the corresponding period of last year.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar loadings for the freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR rose by 0.4% year on year to 288,229 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 4 August rose by 1.8% to 381,027.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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