Econintersect: Week 02 of 2013 ending January 12 shows same week total rail traffic well below 2012 levels according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR). The four week moving average of total same week rail traffic is well below any levels seen in the last few years.
- The carload portion of rail traffic showed same week traffic contracted 6.4% (versus last week’s -12.1%).
- Excluding coal and grain (which are not an economic indicator), rail carloads expanded at 3.6% (last week -4.5%) same week year-over-year.
- Intermodal same week traffic expanded 10.4% (versus last week’s –8.0%)
- Total same week rail traffic contracted 6.1% (versus last week’s -12.1%)
USA coal production is down 12.0 % same week year-over-year, and the cumulative effect on rail carloads continues to drag traffic down.
“Thirteen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, with petroleum products, up 47.7 percent; crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 17.5 percent, and lumber and wood products, up 15.5 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included iron and steel scrap, down 22.1 percent; metallic ores, down 18.6 percent, and coal, down 16 percent.”
The majority of the reason for rail year-to-date contraction is coal and grain movements – which would only effect the profitability of railroads, and not an economic indicator as coal is an alternative fuel to oil and natural gas.
|This week Year-over-Year||-6.4%||10.4%||-6.1%|
|This week without coal and grain||3.6%|
|Year Cumulative to Date||-9.1%||1.9%||-8.7%|
[click on graph below to enlarge]
Current Rail Chart
Total (cumulative) year-to-date traffic is contracting year-over-year.
For the week ended January 12, 2013: