UpdateCanada chem railcar traffic falls for third straight week

16 August 2012 21:56  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar traffic data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads fell by 11.1% year on year for the week ended 11 August, marking their the third decline in a row and the 22nd decline so far this year, according to data released by a rail industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 9,086, compared with 10,221 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 4 August, saw a year-on-year decline of 4.9% 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 11 August, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down by 6.4% year on year to 338,259.

The AAR said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell by 1.6% year on year to 1,303. From 1 January to 11 August, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 6.4% to 39,912.

US chemical railcar traffic fell by 0.4% year on year for the week ended 11 August, marking its 21st decline so far this year.

There were 29,505 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 29,628 in the corresponding week of 2011. In the previous week, ended 4 August, US weekly chemical railcar loadings rose by 0.7% year on year.

From 1 January to 11 August, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 1.3% to 954,355 compared with the corresponding period of last year.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar loadings for the freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR fell by 1.2% year on year to 289,172 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 11 August fell by 2.1% to 374,332.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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