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Key measure of U.S. chemical demand rises
Thu Jul 20, 2006 01:30 PM ET

NEW YORK, July 20 (Reuters) - Chemical shipments on U.S. railroads rose last week, according to data from the Association of American Railroads published on Thursday.

Chemicals shipments on trains, called rail car loadings, are a key measure of demand on products ranging from plastics to fertilizers.

For the week ended July 15, chemical rail car loadings rose 1.1 percent to 29,656 from 29,323 during the same period last year, the AAR said.

The rise in shipments followed a year-on-year decline of 2.1 percent the prior week.

The figures often provide an early glimpse of broader trends for the chemical industry and manufacturing, according to analysts.

Rail car chemical loadings in the year to date fell 2.4 percent from the same period last year, the weekly data showed on Thursday.

Rail car loadings represent about 21 percent of chemical volumes by tonnage. Trucks, barges and pipelines carry the rest.

Source: Reuters

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