UpdateCanada chem railcar traffic rises for 12th straight week

28 March 2013 18:13  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with Canadian and Mexican data)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on Canadian railroads rose by 9.2% year on year to 11,884 railcar loadings in the week ended 23 March, marking their 12th straight weekly increase this year, according to data released by a rail industry association on Thursday.

In the previous week, ended 16 March, Canada's chemical railcar loadings rose by 11.0% year on year. From 1 January to 23 March, shipments were up by 11.7% to 136,828, 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 1.7% year on year to 1,244. From 1 January to 23 March, they were up by 13.5% to 15,971.

US chemical railcar traffic fell 0.9% year on year to 30,460 loadings in the week ended 23 March, marking its 10th decline so far this year.

In the previous week, ended 16 March, US chemical car loadings rose by 1.3% year on year - the first increase after four declines in a row. From 1 January to 23 March, US chemical railcar traffic is down 1.4% to 357,355 loadings.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar loadings for the week ended 23 March in the freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR rose 0.2% year on year to 278,738 carloads. Overall Canadian loadings rose 1.9% to 79,130, and overall Mexican loadings rose 12.7% to 15,990.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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