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Rail Week Ending 24 August 2013: Improvement in Growth Rate Weakens

August 29th, 2013
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect: Week 34 of 2013 ending 24 August shows same week total rail traffic (from same week one year ago) was mixed according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Railcar count is down, and intermodal count is up.

  • Weekly overall data is up, and up even stronger ignoring coal and grain;

Follow up:

  • Four week rolling average is declining, but better than the 4 week rolling average one year ago;
  • 13 week rolling average is improving, and better than the 13 week rolling average one year ago;
  • 52 week rolling average is improving, and better than the 52 week rolling average one year ago.

This is the fifth week of improving data - however, the four week rolling average is weak.

A summary of the data:

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported today that U.S. Class I railroads originated a record 108,605 carloads of crude oil in the second quarter of 2013, up 11.8 percent from the 97,135 carloads originated in the first quarter of 2013 and up 11.0 percent over the 51,474 carloads originated in the second quarter of 2012.  Crude oil accounted for 1.5 percent of total Class 1 carloads in the second quarter of 2013. Based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, AAR estimates that railroads today transport approximately 11 percent of U.S. crude oil production, up from virtually none a few years ago.

2013-08-29-graph.png

The AAR also reported today decreased weekly rail traffic for the week ending August 24, 2013, with total U.S. weekly carloads of 291,889 carloads, down 1.7 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 257,080 units, up 3.5 percent compared with the same week last year.  Total U.S. rail traffic for the week was 548,969 combined carloads and intermodal units, up 0.7 percent compared with the same week last year.

Six of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, led by petroleum and petroleum products with 12,764 carloads, up 15.3 percent. Commodities showing a decrease compared with the same week last year included grain with 15,925 carloads, down 15.3 percent.

For the first 34 weeks of 2013, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 9,478,728 carloads, down 1.2 percent from the same point last year, and 8,260,570 intermodal units, up 3.5 percent from last year. Total U.S. traffic for the first 34 weeks of 2013 was 17,739,298 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.9 percent from last year.

USA coal production is up 1.9% same week year-over-year, has become a neutral to positive dynamic on rail.

This Week
Carloads Intermodal Total
This week Year-over-Year -1.7% 3.5% 0.7%
Ignoring coal and grain 1.8%
Year Cumulative to Date -1.2% 3.5% 0.9%

[click on graph below to enlarge]

Current Rail Chart

/images/z rail1.png

From EIA.gov:

For the week ended August 24, 2013:

  • U.S. coal production totaled approximately 20.7 million short tons (mmst)
  • This production estimate is 0.4 percent lower than last week's estimate and 1.9 percent higher than the production estimate in the comparable week in 2012
  • Coal production east of the Mississippi River totaled 8.2 mmst
  • Coal production west of the Mississippi River totaled 12.5 mmst
  • U.S. year-to-date coal production totaled 645.2 mmst, 3.0 percent lower than the comparable year-to-date coal production in 2012
  • Source: AAR









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