Chemical loadings jump 1.3% in June
August 2, 2012
Revised data shows that volumes in the second quarter were much better than originally anticipated. June volumes hit a one year high and have grown the last 3 months. Loadings were up 1.3% in June and April showed a large upward revision to a gain of 2.5%. June loadings, at 5.200 million, were up a modest 0.2% from the prior year. This was the first year-over-year gain following eight consecutive declines. The near-term outlook has improved but we still don’t expect to see noticeable year-over-year gains until the end of 2012.
After dropping throughout 2008, chemical freight bottomed out in 2009Q3 and rebounded through the start of 2011, with just a small downtick in Q2 of 2010 interrupting the growth. After peaking at the end of 2010, volumes moved lower throughout 2011. Loadings surged in December but then fell in February and March before growing the last 3 months. Loadings rose 2.4% in Q2 after a small 0.6% gain in Q1.
Loadings fell in both 2008 and 2009, dropping 8.3% and 7.5%, respectively, before growing 3.6% in 2010. 2011 growth was reduced to a gain of just 1.4%.
Outlook still remains weak. Volumes have moved higher in 2012 on the heels of the better Q2 but growth is likely to remain below 2% for the next 3 years. Growth will go negative in 2012 before modestly improving in 2013 and 2014. We expect that loadings will be down 0.5% in 2012 with positive growth in 2013 of just 0.9% and a further 1.6% in 2014.
Our outlook for Industrial Production in the chemical markets remains weak, and even moved lower once again for 2013. Despite having some obvious advantages (namely low natural gas prices) our chemicals markets are not recovering as expected. Volumes will remain weak for several years.
Volumes are essentially at the same level they were in late 2010, and we don’t expect to see much of a rebound in the chemical sector for at least the next year – perhaps longer.
Chemicals Products are movements of refined or processed chemicals. This includes such items as plastics, cosmetics, paints, agricultural chemicals, and basic industrial chemicals. It does not include mining activities. FTR’s data is seasonally adjusted and measures both short and long-haul OTR segments.
Click the link below to print a print-friendly page of the this analysis.Print Page
Use our chart creator to generate charts using the data that was used in this analysis.TruckGauge Chart Creator
This functionality is only available to Premium Members. Please upgrade your account to gain access to the data used in this analysis.Upgrade to a Premium Member