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US coal carloads total 83,783, down 3.9% on week: AAR

US coal carload originations totaled 83,783 for the week ended September 15, down 3.9% from the prior week, data from the Association of American Railroads showed Wednesday.

Coal carloads for the most recently concluded week were 18.1% down from the five-year average of 102,357. This was the largest drop from the average since carloads dropped 18.6% for the week ended April 14.
Coal carloads made up 15.2% of total US traffic, which was the lowest percentage since the week ended June 30 with coal originations making up 14.7% of traffic.

Canadian carloads totaled 8,076, up 7.7% from the year-ago week, but down 3.9% from the week before.

Canadian and US coal carloads together were down 8.6% from the year-ago week.

Originations from the four major Class 1 railroads — BNSF, Union Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern — totaled 93,446 carloads.

Year to week ended September 15, coal traffic for the four railroads totaled fewer than 3.4 million carloads, down 2.3% from the same point last year.

CSX was the only railroad to have more traffic in 2018 year to September 15 than in 2017. Coal carloads for the railroad were up 4.2% from the same point in 2017.

However, CSX originations for the most recently concluded week totaled 16,206, dropping 3.6% from the prior week and 3.1% from the year-ago week.

For the past four weeks, CSX coal originations have fallen from the year-ago week amount.

BNSF was the only railroad to rise in carloads week on week.

Originations for the railroad rose 1.9% to 37,541 carloads; however the railroad also had a 6.1% drop from the year-ago week.

UP originations totaled 22,556, dropping 2.5% week on week and dropping 1.7% from the year-ago week.

Coal also made up 12.5% of total UP traffic, the smallest percentage since coal made up 11.1% in the week ended June 30.

BNSF, NS, and UP dropped 2.9%, 1.5%, and 6.4%, respectively, in coal traffic year to September 15 compared to the same point last year.

NS dropped the most from the year-ago week, down 9.8% with 17,146 carloads in the most recently concluded week.

Coal carloads for the railroad also fell 1.9% week on week, a slight drop compared to the prior week’s fall of 15%.

Coal carloads made up 11.4% of total NS traffic, the smallest percentage since the week ended July 7 with 10.1%.
Source: Platts

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