UpdateCanada chemical railcar traffic rises for third straight week

24 January 2013 19:07  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican data)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose by 20.1% year on year in the week ended 19 January, marking their third straight increase so far this year, according to data released by a rail industry association on Thursday.

Canadian chemical railcar loadings for the week totalled 10,753, compared with 8,956 in the same week in 2012, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

In the previous week, ended 12 January, Canadian chemical railcar shipments rose by 9.8%. From 1 to 19 January, chemical railcar loadings are up 14.7% year on year to 31,603.

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.

The AAR said weekly chemical railcar traffic in Mexico rose by 21.5% year on year to 1,379. From 1 to 19 January, Mexican chemical railcar loads were up 16.5% year on year to 3,667. 

US chemical railcar traffic fell by 0.3% year on year to 29,970 carloads in the week ended 19 January, marking its third straight decline so far this year.

In the previous week, ended 12 January, US chemical car loadings fell 3.1%. From 1 January to 19 January, chemical car loadings are down 2.4% to 85,569.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar loadings for the week ended 19 January in the freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR fell by 3.5% year on year to 277,490 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 19 January fell by 0.1% to 369,320 as increases in Canada and Mexico were more than offset by 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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