MOSCOW (MRC) -- During the week ended 3 October, chemical railcar traffic in North America increased 1.5% year-over-year (YOY) on gains in Canada and Mexico. Volume totaled 44,993 carloads, up 3.9% from the previous week, according to Chemweek with reference to data released on 7 October by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
On a four-week basis, volume was down 2.8% from 2019 and 5.9% from 2018, about the same as the previous week (chart). For the year to date, chemical railcar traffic in North America was down 4.4% from 2019 and 5.8% from 2018.
Chemical railcar traffic in the United States contributed 31,377 carloads to the total, down 3.8% YOY and up 4.3% from the previous week. For the year to date, US chemical railcar traffic is down 5.1%.
Canadian chemical rail traffic totaled 12,673 carloads, up 16.7% YOY and up 3.6% from the previous week. For the year to date, Canadian chemical railcar traffic is down 2.5%.
Chemical railcar traffic in Mexico totaled 943 carloads, a YOY increase of 11.5% and a sequential decrease of 3.9%. For the year to date, Mexican chemical railcar traffic is down 6.2%.
As MRC informed earlier, Russia's August output of chemical products rose by 5% year on year. At the same time, production of basic chemicals increased in the first eight months of 2020 by 5.3% year on year, according to Rosstat's data. According to the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation, polymers in primary form accounted for the greatest increase in the January-August output. Thus, August production of primary polymers rose to 888,000 tonnes from 838,000 tonnes in July due to increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim, Stavrolen and Gazprom neftekhim Salavat. Overall output of polymers in primary form totalled 6,630,000 tonnes in January-August 2020, up by 15.2% year on year.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall PE production totalled 1,712,400 tonnes in the first seven months of 2020, up by 58% year on year. Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) accounted for the greatest increase in the output. At the same time, overall PP production in Russia increased in January-July 2020 by 24% year on year to 1,063,700 tonne. ZapSibNeftekhim accounted for the main increase in the output.