Econintersect: Week 03 of 2013 ending January 19 shows same week total rail traffic 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 remains well below any levels seen in the last few years.
- The carload portion of rail traffic showed same week traffic contracted 3.5% (versus last week’s –6.4%).
- Excluding coal and grain (which are not an economic indicator), rail carloads expanded at 4.7% (last week 3.6%) same week year-over-year.
- Intermodal same week traffic expanded 13.5% (versus last week’s 10.4%)
- Total same week rail traffic contracted 3.3% (versus last week’s –6.1%)
USA coal production is down 15.1% same week year-over-year, and the cumulative effect on rail carloads continues to drag traffic down.
“Nine of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, with petroleum products, up 60.9 percent; motor vehicles and equipment, up 19.1 percent, and lumber and wood products, up 15.8 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included primary forest products, down 20.9 percent; iron and steel scrap, down 17.7 percent, and nonmetallic minerals, down 16.9 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||-3.5%||13.5%||-3.3%|
|This week without coal and grain||4.7%|
|Year Cumulative to Date||-7.3%||5.9%||-6.9%|
[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 19, 2013: