UpdateCanada chem rail traffic falls for ninth straight week

27 September 2012 18:47  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with data for weekly Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar shipments)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads fell by 11.7% year on year for the week ended 22 September, marking their ninth decline in a row and the 28th decline so far this year, according to data released by a rail industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 10,033 compared with 11,361 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 15 September, saw a year-on-year decline of 8.4% 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 22 September, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down by 6.4% year on year to 399,615.

The AAR said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose by 18.3% year on year to 1,458. From 1 January to 22 September, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 5.4% to 47,722.

US chemical railcar traffic fell by 1.3% year on year for the week ended 22 September - the second decline in a row and the 25th decline so far this year.

There were 29,375 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 29,755 in the corresponding week of 2011. In the previous week, ended 15 September, US weekly chemical railcar loadings rose by fell by 0.8%.

From 1 January to 22 September, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 1.2% to 1,129,600, 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 4.1% year on year to 292,644 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 22 September fell by 2.8% to 388,195.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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