MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chemical railcar traffic in North America continued to strengthen during the week ended 17 October, according to Chemweek.
On a four-week basis, volume was down 0.4% from 2019 and down 2.5% from 2018, up from respective shortfalls of 1.2% and 3.3% the previous week and 2.8% and 5.9% the week before that (chart). For the year to date, chemical railcar traffic in North America is down 4.2% from 2019 and 5.5% from 2018.
Volume for the week totaled 43,147 carloads, down 0.5% year-over-year (YOY) and down 1.1% from the previous week, according to data released on 21 October by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Chemical railcar traffic in the US contributed 29,718 carloads to the total, down 6.3% YOY and down 4.2% from the previous week. For the year to date, US chemical railcar traffic is down 5.0%.
Canadian chemical rail traffic totaled 12,426 carloads, up 16.6% YOY and up 6.9% from the previous week. For the year to date, Canadian chemical railcar traffic is down 1.9%.
Chemical railcar traffic in Mexico totaled 1,003 carloads, a YOY increase of 1.7% and a sequential increase of 2.6%. For the year to date, Mexican chemical railcar traffic is down 5.6%.
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.