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Rail Week Ending 20 July 2013: Dynamics Clearly Less Good

July 25th, 2013
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect: Week 29 of 2013 ending 20 July shows same week total rail traffic (from same week one year ago) declined according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Railcar count is down, but intermodal count is up.

  • Weekly overall data is down, but up marginally ignoring coal and grain;
  • Four week rolling average is declining (seasonally normal), and the same as the rolling average one year ago;
  • 13 week rolling average is improving, and better than the rolling average one year ago;
  • 52 week rolling average is declining, but better than the rolling average one year ago;

Follow up:

Bottom line at this point, the dynamics clearly have become less good.

A summary of the data:

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, led by petroleum and petroleum products, up 28 percent. Commodities showing a decrease compared with the same week last year included grain, down 9.1 percent.

For the first 29 weeks of 2013, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 8,020,326 carloads, down 1.5 percent from the same point last year, and 6,977,660 intermodal units, up 3.4 percent from last year. Total U.S. traffic for the first 29 weeks of 2013 was 14,997,986 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.7 percent from last year.

USA coal production is up 1.6% same week year-over-year, and coal over the last few months is becoming a neutral to positive dynamic on rail.

This Week
Carloads Intermodal Total
This week Year-over-Year -3.1% 0.9% -1.3%
Ignoring coal and grain 1.8%
Year Cumulative to Date -1.4% 3.5% 0.8%

[click on graph below to enlarge]

Current Rail Chart

/images/z rail1.png

From EIA.gov:

For the week ended July 20, 2013:

  • U.S. coal production totaled approximately 20.0 million short tons (mmst)
  • This production estimate is 2.0 percent higher than last week's estimate and 1.6 percent higher than the production estimate in the comparable week in 2012
  • Coal production east of the Mississippi River totaled 7.6 mmst
  • Coal production west of the Mississippi River totaled 12.4 mmst
  • U.S. year-to-date coal production totaled 542.8 mmst, 3.8 percent lower than the comparable year-to-date coal production in 2012
  • Source: AAR









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