UpdateCanada weekly chemical railcar traffic falls 9.6%

21 November 2012 17:35  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican data)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads fell by 9.6% year on year for the week ended 17 November, marking their 34th decrease so far this year, according to data released by a rail industry association on Wednesday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 9,451, compared with 10,456 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 10 November, saw a 5.6% year-on-year increase in chemical shipments after four straight declines.

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 17 November, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down by 6.0% year on year, to 480,653.

The AAR that said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose by 14.8% year on year, to 1,304. From 1 January to 17 November, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 8.5% to 58,943.

US chemical railcar traffic fell by 2.9% year on year in the week ended 17 November, marking its 29th decline so far this year.

There were 28,080 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 28,919 in the corresponding week in 2011. In the previous week, ended 10 November, US weekly chemical railcar loadings rose by 2.5%.

From 1 January to 17 November, US chemical railcar loadings were down 1.1% compared with the corresponding period of last year, to 1,363,461.

Overall US weekly railcar loadings for the week ended 17 November in the freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR fell 4.3% year on year to 288,717 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 17 November fell by 2.5% to 382,766 as increases in Canada and Mexico were not enough to offset the decline in the US.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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