UpdateCanada chem railcar traffic rises for 4th straight week

31 January 2013 18:24  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican data)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose by 4.2% year on year in the week ended 26 January, marking their fourth 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 10,723, compared with 10,276 in the same week in 2012, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

In the previous week ended 19 January, Canadian chemical railcar shipments rose by 20.1%. From 1 to 26 January, chemical railcar loadings are up 11.9% year on year to 42,326.

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 15.3% year on year to 1,340. From 1 to 26 January, Mexican chemical railcar loads were up 16.2% year on year to 5,007. 

US chemical railcar traffic fell by 2.1% year over year, to 29,780 chemical railcar loadings, in the week ended 26 January, marking its fourth straight decline this year.

In the previous week ended 19 January, US chemical car loadings fell by 0.3% year over year. From 1 January to 26 January, chemical car loadings are down 2.3% year over year to 115,349.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar loadings for the week ended 26 January in the freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR fell by 6.3% year over year to 265,839 carloads.

For all of North America, total railcar traffic for the week ended 26 January fell by 4.3% to 356,997 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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