UpdateCanada chem railcar traffic falls for 4th straight week

23 August 2012 19:03  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar traffic data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads fell by 4.3% year on year for the week ended 18 August, marking their the fourth decline in a row and the 23nd decline so far this year, according to data released by a rail industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 9,811, compared with 10,249 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 11 August, saw a year-on-year decline of 11.1% 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 18 August, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down by 6.4% year on year to 348,070.

The AAR said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell by 6.7% year on year to 1,193. From 1 January to 18 August, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 5.9% to 41,075.

US chemical railcar traffic rose by 0.7% year on year for the week ended 18 August. There were 30,235 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 30,029 in the corresponding week of 2011.

From 1 January to 18 August, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 1.2% to 984,590 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 2.1% year on year to 293,916 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 18 August fell by 1.5% to 386,612.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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