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US coal carloads fall to seven-week low of 76,242: AAR

Houston (Platts)--6 Jun 2018 327 pm EDT/1927 GMT


US coal carloads fell to 76,242 in the week ended June 2, down from a nine-week high of 84,674 a week earlier and the lowest weekly volume since mid-April, the Association of American Railroads said Wednesday.

The latest week was also lower than 82,523 in the year-ago week and was only the third time in the last 14 weeks to track lower than the corresponding week of 2017.

Coal carloads represented 15% of all the traffic on US railways, flat from a week earlier but down from 16.5% in the year-ago week.

Coal originations on Canadian railroads -- including the US operations of Canadian National, which serves several mines in the Illinois Basin -- fell to a 13-week low 6,538, down from 7,808 a week earlier and 6,892 in the year-ago week.

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Of the four major Class I railroads, Union Pacific was the only one to see a week-on-week increase, with carloads jumping 8.9% to a 10-week high 19,037. However, it was down from 21,997 in the year-ago week.

Since January 1, UP coal carloads are at 441,764, down 5.5% from a year ago.

BNSF reported a 2018-low 30,841 in the latest week, down 12.1% from the prior week and also down 13.9% from the year-ago week. So far in 2018, BNSF carloads are at 765,518, down 1.4% from the same period a year earlier.

CSX and Norfolk Southern also saw weekly decreases, with reported carloads of 15,070 and 18,021, down 15% and 9.5%, respectively. However, since January, cumulative carloads for CSX and NS are at 337,220 and 412,633, up 3.9% and down 1.3% from year-ago totals.

--Tyler Godwin, tyler.godwin@spglobal.com
--Edited by Kevin Saville, kevin.saville@spglobal.com



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