UpdateCanada chem rail traffic falls for sixth straight week

06 September 2012 20:05  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar traffic data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads fell by 5.2% year on year for the week ended 1 September, marking their sixth decline in a row and the 25th decline so far this year, according to data released by a rail industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 10,162 compared with 10,719 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 25 August, saw a year-on-year decline of 6.5% 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 1 September, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down by 6.3% year on year to 368,602.

The AAR said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose by 2.3% year on year to 1,316. From 1 January to 1 September, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 5.1% to 43,545.

US chemical railcar traffic fell by 1.7% year on year for the week ended 1 September, marking its second decline in a row and the 23rd decline so far this year.

There were 29,635 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 30,138 in the corresponding week of 2011. In the previous week, ended 25 August, US weekly chemical railcar loadings fell by 2.0% year on year.

From 1 January to 1 September, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 1.3% to 1,043,568 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 3.4% year on year to 292,732 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 1 September fell by 2.5% to 386,964.

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


By: Stefan Baumgarten
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