UpdateCanada chem railcar traffic rises for 11th straight week

21 March 2013 18:24  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican data)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose by 11.0% year on year to 12,088 railcar loadings in the week ended 16 March, marking their 11th straight weekly increase so far this year, according to data released by a rail industry association on Thursday.

In the previous week, ended 9 March, Canada's chemical railcar loadings rose by 19.6% up year on year. From 1 January to 16 March, shipments were up by 12.0% to 124,944, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said. 

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 companies relying exclusively on rail shipments.

The AAR said that weekly chemical railcar loadingin Mexico fell by 15.5% year on year to 1,157. From 1 January to 16 March, they were up by 15.0% to 14,727.

US chemical railcar traffic rose by 1.3% year on year to 30,143 loadings in the week ended 16 March, marking its first increase after four declines in a row.

In the previous week, ended 9 March, US chemical car loadings fell by 3.3% year on year - the fourth straight decline and the ninth decline so far this year. From 1 January to 16 March, US chemical railcar traffic is down 1.5% to 326,895 loadings.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar loadings in the freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR fell by 0.5% year on year to 280,624 in the week ended 16 March. Overall Canadian loadings rose by 2.0% to 79,664, and overall Mexican loadings rose by 8.7% to 15,955.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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