UpdateCanadian chemical railcar traffic falls for fourth straight week

08 November 2012 19:33  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican data)

TORONTO (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads fell by 5.1% year on year for the week ended 3 November, marking their fourth decline in a row and the 33rd decline so far this year, according to data released by a rail industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 9,862 compared with 10,392 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 27 October, saw a 0.7% 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 3 November, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down by 6.2% year on year, to 460,925.

The AAR that said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose by 15.8% year on year, to 1,283. From 1 January to 3 November, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 8.2% to 56,397.

US chemical railcar traffic fell by 1.2% year on year in the week ended 3 November, marking its third decline in a row and the 28th decline so far this year.

There were 28,560 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 28,908 in the corresponding week of 2011. In the previous week, ended 27 October, US weekly chemical railcar loadings fell by 4.2%.

From 1 January to 3 November, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 1.1% compared with the corresponding period of last year, to 1,305,842.

Overall, US weekly railcar loadings for the week ended 3 November in the freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR fell by 6.8% year on year to 278,230 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 3 November fell by 5.7%, to 370,599.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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