UpdateCanada weekly chemical railcar traffic falls by 8.1%

29 November 2012 20:52  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican data)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads fell by 8.1% year on year for the week ended 24 November, marking their second decline in a row and the 35th decline so far this year, according to data released by a rail industry association on Wednesday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 9,662, compared with 10,512 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 17 November, saw a 9.6% year-on-year fall 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 24 November, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down by 6.1% year on year, to 490,315.

The AAR said that weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose by 15.1% year on year, to 1,247. From 1 January to 24 November, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 8.6% to 60,190.

US chemical railcar traffic rose by 3.2% year on year in the week ended 24 November, to 25,243 chemical railcar loadings.

In the previous week, ended ended 17 November, US weekly chemical railcar loadings fell by 2.9%, marking their 29th decline so far this year. 

From 1 January to 24 November, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 1.0% compared with the corresponding period of last year, to 1,388,704.

Overall US weekly railcar loadings for the week ended 24 November in the freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR fell  by 4.6% year on year to 252,931 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 24 November fell by 2.5% to 344,525 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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