UpdateCanada chemical rail traffic falls for 3rd straight week

01 November 2012 18:12  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads fell by 0.7% year on year for the week ended 27 October, marking the third decline in a row and the 32nd decline so far this year, according to data released by a rail industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 10,785 compared with 10,865 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 20 October, saw a 2.9% year-on-year decrease in chemical 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 27 October, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down by 6.2% year on year, to 451,063.

The AAR that said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose by 35% year on year, to 1,356. From 1 January to 27 October, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 8% to 55,114.

US chemical railcar traffic fell by 4.2% year on year in the week ended 27 October, marking its second decline in a row and the 27th decline so far this year.

There were 28,787 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 30,039 in the corresponding week of 2011. In the previous week, ended 20 October, US weekly chemical railcar loadings fell by 1.8%.

From 1 January to 27 October, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 1.1% compared with the corresponding period of last year, to 1,277,282.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar loadings for the week ended 27 October in the freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR fell by 7.0% year on year to 287,104 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 27 October fell by 4.8% to 383,554, as the 7.0% decline in the US was partially offset by increases in Canada 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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