US weekly chem railcar traffic rises 2.7%, Canada loadings fall 14.2%

24 April 2014 20:04 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US chemical railcar traffic marked its fourth straight increase in the week ended 19 April, but Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar loadings fell, according to data released on Thursday by a rail industry group.

US chemical railcar loadings rose 2.7% year on year to 30,405 for the week ended 19 April. For the first 16 weeks of 2014 ended 19 April, loadings were up 1.1% year on year to 482,931.

The logistics data are an important real-time measurement of chemical industry activity and demand. Railcar loadings represent about 20% of US chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest.

Overall US weekly railcar loadings for the week ended 19 April in the freight commodity groups tracked by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) rose 5.1% to 290,713.

Canadian chemical railcar traffic fell 14.2% year on year to 11,477 loadings for the week, and was down 3.5% year on year to 180,048 loadings for the first 16 weeks of 2014. Canadian chemical producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with many relying exclusively on rail.

Mexican chemical railcar traffic fell 1.5% year on year to 1,354 loadings for the week and was down 1.7% to 21,515 loadings for the first 16 weeks of the year.

By Stefan Baumgarten