Week Ending 20 April 2013: Total Rail Traffic Slowing

April 26th, 2013
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect: Week 16 of 2013 ending April 20 shows same week total rail traffic mixed according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR):

  • Four week rolling average is improving (normal for this time of year) even though the weekly data is declined;
  • 13 week rolling average is declining (NOT normal for this time of year);
  • 52 week rolling average is declining (NOT normal for this time of year);
  • The weekly count is down even ignoring coal and grain.

Follow up:

A summary of the data:

"Four of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, led by petroleum and petroleum products, up 40.1 percent. Commodities showing a decrease included grain, down 21.8 percent.

For the first 16 weeks of 2013, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 4,403,958 carloads, down 2.3 percent from the same point last year, and 3,799,366 intermodal units, up 4.6 percent from last year. Total U.S. traffic for the first 16 weeks of 2013 was 8,203,324 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.7 percent from last year.

USA coal production is down 1.0% same week year-over-year, and coal over the last few months is becoming a neutral dynamic on rail.

This Week
Carloads Intermodal Total
This week Year-over-Year -2.0% 0.6% -2.3%
Ignoring coal and grain -0.7%
Year Cumulative to Date -2.3% 4.6% 0.7%

[click on graph below to enlarge]

Current Rail Chart

/images/z rail1.pn

From EIA.gov:

For the week ended April 20, 2013:

  • U.S. coal production totaled approximately 18.1 million short tons (mmst)
  • This production estimate is 1.7 percent higher than last week's estimate and 1.0 percent lower than the production estimate in the comparable week in 2012
  • Coal production east of the Mississippi River totaled 8.1 mmst
  • Coal production west of the Mississippi River totaled 10.0 mmst
  • U.S. year-to-date coal production totaled 294.8 mmst, 7.9 percent lower than the comparable year-to-date coal production in 2012

    Source: AAR

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