UpdateCanada chem rail traffic records first rise after 10 drops

11 October 2012 18:49  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose by 0.5% year on year for the week ended 6 October, marking their first increase after 10 straight declines, according to data released by a rail industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 10,251 compared with 10,199 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 29 September, saw a year-on-year decline of 13.9% in chemical railcar shipments - the 10th decline in a row and the 29th decline so far this year

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 6 October, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down 6.5% year on year, to 420,133.

The AAR that said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose by 19.4% year on year, to 1,469. From 1 January to 6 October, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 6.1% to 50,603.

US chemical railcar traffic rose by 1.4% year on year in the week ended 6 October - to 29,768 railcar loadings, compared with 29,344 in the corresponding week of 2011. In the previous week, ended on 29 September, US weekly chemical railcar loadings rose by 1.0%.

From 1 January to 6 October, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 1.1% compared with the corresponding period of last year, to 1,190,473.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar loadings for the week ended 6 October in the freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR fell by 6.3% year on year to 283,440 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 6 October fell by 4.7% to 378,718.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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