HOUSTON (ICIS)--US, Canadian and Mexican chemical railcar shipments all rose in the week ended 21 June, according to data released on Thursday by a rail industry group.
US chemical railcar loadings were up for a fifth straight week, rising 0.9% year over year to 29,382. For the first 25 weeks of 2014 ended 21 June, loadings were up 1.4% year over year to 758,406.
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 21 June in the freight commodity groups tracked by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) rose 0.9% to 291,142.
Canadian chemical railcar traffic rose 16.7% year over year to 11,697 loadings for the week but was down 1.0% year over year to 288,890 loadings for the first 25 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 rose 18.4% year over year to 1,704 loadings for the week but was down 0.5% to 34,900 loadings for the first 25 weeks of the year.
Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in his Chemicals and the Economy Blog
With shale gas dominating the headlines and ethane a major talking point in the petrochemical industry, ICIS editors in Houston are closely monitoring the situation. See the ICIS special report on shale, ethane and US ethane exports at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYbKzYlYMGA.?xml:namespace>