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Weekly US coal production, rail traffic downturn still evident

TotalU.S. coal rail traffic for the week ended Sept. 17 dropped by 12.5% year overyear to 90,369 carloads, according to data from the Association of AmericanRailroads.

Year-to-datecoal rail traffic lingered at around 26.1% through the week, a continueddownswing leading to what could be the largestannual decline on record.

Thetotal rail traffic for the week was 537,904 carloads and intermodal units,sliding 5.1% from the year-ago period.

coal shipmentvolumes settled at 41,259 carloads in the week ended Sept. 17, down fromlast week's 41,421carloads and down 10.5% from the year-ago week.

's coalshipment volumes this week were at 24,721 carloads, up from 24,171 carloadslast week but down 14.9% compared to last year's weekly volume.

Easternrailroad CSX Transportation Inc.'sshipment volumes of coal stood at 14,741 carloads, down from the last week's15,392 carloads and falling 16.3% compared to the same week in 2015.

's coalshipment volumes totaled 18,299 carloads for the week, up from last week's15,487 carloads but down 13.8% from the same week a year ago.

'sweekly coal shipment volume showed 3,997 carloads, up from 3,539 carloads theprevious week. The railroad serves 10 U.S. states and Mexico.

US coal production ticks upfor the week but still down year on year

Accordingto data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. coal productionfor the week ended Sept. 17 increased by 6.6% compared to last week's estimatesbut at 16.1 million tons still showed a decrease of 11.2% compared to the 18.1million tons in the same week a year ago. For the 52 weeks ended Sept. 17,production clocked in at 736.5 million tons, a 21.9% year over year tightening,while year-to-date coal output plunged 23.7% from 2015 to about 501.2 milliontons through Sept. 17.

Thewestern region's coal production for the week totaled 9.4 million tons,representing a 9.2% cutback, compared to the previous year's 10.3 million tons.Data for the Western region covers Powder River Basin mines.

Coalproduction from Appalachian mines for the week tumbled 15.4% to 3.7 milliontons, compared to about 4.3 million tons of the same period in 2015.

Forthe interior region, weekly total coal production weakened by 11.9%, to 3.0million tons from the year-ago week's output of 3.4 million tons. Interior regiondata covers mines in the Illinois Basin.

TheEIA's production data is derived from rail carload estimates.

Data collected by S&PGlobal Market Intelligence from railroads indicate both cars originated ontheir lines during the week and cars received from a connecting railroad duringthe same week.