UpdateCanada chemical railcar traffic falls 2.2% year on year

20 December 2012 18:32  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican data)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads fell by 2.2% year on year for the week ended 15 December, marking their 37th decline so far this year, according to data released by a rail industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 10,400, compared with 10,632 in the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

The previous week, ended 8 December, saw 6.3% year-on-year increase, following three 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 15 December, Canadian chemical railcar loadings were down by 5.7% year on year to 522,307.

The AAR said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose by 13.8% year on year to 1,337. From 1 January to 15 December, Mexican chemical railcar loadings were up by 8.8% to 64,211.

US chemical railcar traffic rose by 1.9% year on year in the week ended 15 December to 28,966 railcar loadings - the fourth increase in a row. In the previous week, ended 8 December, US weekly chemical railcar loadings rose by 5.0%.

From 1 January to 15 December, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 0.8% compared with the corresponding period of last year to 1,478,873.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar loadings for the week ended 15 December in the freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR fell by 3.9% year on year to 292,640 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 15 December fell by 2.1% to 387,267 as increases in Canadian and Mexican shipments 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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