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US coal rail traffic, production see modest increases in latest week

Total U.S. coal rail traffic for the week ended July 29 saw a 2.4% year-over-year increase to 92,430 carloads, according to data from the Association of American Railroads.

Year-to-date coal rail traffic climbed 15.8% through the week, while overall rail traffic inched up 2.5% year over year to 550,356 carloads and intermodal units.

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BNSF Railway Co. reached 40,518 carloads in the week that ended July 29, up by 4% from last week's 38,975 carloads and 1.7% higher than the 39,847 carloads during the same period a year ago.

Union Pacific Corp.'s coal shipment volumes this week stood at 25,126 carloads, slipping 1.9% from last week's 25,604 carloads, but inched up 1% from the year-ago period's 24,874 carloads.

Eastern railroad CSX Transportation Inc.'s coal shipment volumes clocked in at 14,484 carloads, rising 6% from last week's 13,666 carloads, but went down 11.5% compared to 16,359 carloads in the year-ago week.

Norfolk Southern Corp.'s coal shipment volumes totaled 18,966 carloads, up by 4% from last week's 18,245 carloads and by 10.1% from the prior year's 17,221 carloads.

Kansas City Southern Railway Co.'s latest weekly coal shipment volume showed 2,684 carloads, tumbling 30% from last week's 3,836 carloads. The railroad serves 10 U.S. states and Mexico.

YTD coal production gains 13.1% YOY in latest week

According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, total U.S. coal production saw a 13.1% year-over-year increase to 16.1 million tons, compared with 14.3 million tons during the same period last year.

For the 52 weeks that ended July 29, production clocked in at 799.8 million tons, a slight increase of 5% year over year, while year-to-date coal output picked up 14.9% year over year to 449.7 million tons.

The Western region's coal production, at 9.2 million tons, climbed 9.4% from the previous year's 8.4 million tons. Data for the Western region covers Powder River Basin mines.

Coal production from Appalachian mines totaled 3.9 million tons, a 20.2% rally from the year-ago week's 3.3 million tons.

The Interior region's production registered a 15.9% recovery to 3.0 million tons, from the prior year's 2.6 million tons. Interior region data covers mines in the Illinois Basin.

The EIA's production data is derived from rail carload estimates.

Data collected by S&P Global Market Intelligence from railroads indicates both cars originated on their lines during the week and cars received from a connecting railroad during the same week.