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Weekly US coal train loadings rise to 10-month high: STB

US coal train loadings jumped to a 10-month high in the week ended Dec. 4, as loadings from the Powder River Basin rose to a 15-week high, Surface Transportation Board data showed Dec. 11.

Data filed to the STB by the four major Class I railroads – CSX, Union Pacific, BNSF and Norfolk Southern – show US loadings averaged 76.8 trains/day, up 10.7% from 69.4 trains/day in the prior week but 11.5% lower than the 86.7 trains/day averaged in the year-ago week.

Since Jan. 1, total loadings have averaged 68.2 trains/day, down 25.9% from 92 trains averaged in the same period a year ago.

Average PRB loadings increased to a 15-week high 43 trains/day in the latest week, up from 41.3 trains/day in the prior week, but down from 45 trains/day in the year-ago week.

Cumulative PRB loadings this year are at 39 trains/day, down from 50.4 trains/day averaged in the same period a year ago.

Illinois Basin loadings were at 5.1 trains/day, down from 5.5 a week earlier and 6.7 trains/day averaged in the year-ago week. It was only the second time in the last eight weeks that loadings from the region were lower than the year-ago week.

Since Jan. 1, Illinois Basin loadings have averaged 4.3 trains/day, down from 6.5 trains a year ago.

Loadings in Northern Appalachia climbed to 9.7 trains/day, up from 6 trains/day in the prior week, but down from 11.9 trains/day in the year-ago week.

Cumulative loadings in Northern Appalachia have averaged 7.6 trains/day in 2020, down from 11.7 trains averaged last year.

Central Appalachia loadings were at 13.1 trains/day, up from 10.9 trains/day a week earlier, but lower than the 16 trains/day in the year-ago week.

Loadings from the CAPP region in 2020 have averaged 11.6 trains/day, down from 16.1 trains averaged a year ago.

Loadings from outside of the primary basins ticked higher to 5.9 trains/day, from 5.7 trains/day a week earlier, but down from 7.2 trains/day in the year-ago week.
Source: Platts

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