UpdateCanada chem railcar traffic falls for 5th straight week

30 August 2012 18:51  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar traffic data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads fell by 6.5% year on year for the week ended 25 August, marking their fifth decline in a row and the 24th decline so far this year, according to data released by a rail industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 10,370 compared with 11,091 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 18 August, saw a year-on-year decline of 4.3% 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 25 August, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down by 6.4% year on year to 358,440.

The AAR said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico fell by 14.5% year on year to 1,154. From 1 January to 25 August, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 5.2% to 42,229.

US chemical railcar traffic fell by 2.0% year on year for the week ended 25 August, marking its 22nd decline so far this year.

There were 29,343 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 29,929 in the corresponding week of 2011. In the previous week, ended 18 August, US weekly chemical railcar loadings rose by 0.7% year on year.

From 1 January to 25 August, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 1.2% to 1,013,933 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 0.8% year on year to 297,042 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 25 August rose by 0.1%  to 391,925 as a 3.9% year-on-year increase in Canada more than offset declines in the US and Mexico.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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