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Rail coal deliveries continue to suffer from low natural gas, high stockpiles

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Rail coal deliveries continue to suffer from low natural gas, high stockpiles

TotalU.S. coal rail deliveries for the week ended April 30 plunged 37%, to 64,145 carloads,compared with the same week in 2015, according to data from the Association of AmericanRailroads.

Totalrail traffic for the week was 502,045 carloads and intermodal units, falling 11.3%compared with the same week in 2015. During the week, 243,604 carloads were transported,a 14.1% decline from the prior year's delivery. U.S. weekly intermodal volume was258,441 containers and trailers, down 8.6% compared with the year-ago week.

"Railcoal traffic continues to suffer due to low natural gas prices and high coal stockpilesat power plants," AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John Graysaid in a news release. "Coal accounted for just 26 percent of non-intermodalrail traffic for U.S. railroads in April 2016, down from 36 percent in April 2015and 45 percent as recently as late 2011," he added.

Coalrail deliveries for all of April posted a 39.7% decline to 160,624 carloads yearover year, according to AAR.

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's data showed thatit shipped 24,798 coal carloads in the week ended April 30, improving from lastweek's 23,324 carloads but down 45.2% from the comparable year-ago period.

data showed thatthe company transported 16,050 carloads, up from the prior week's 15,155 carloadsbut down 27.5% compared with the previous year's weekly delivery.

Easternrailroad CSX Transportation Inc.moved 16,459 coal carloads for the week, an improvement from the prior week's 13,068carloads but off 27.2% compared with the year-ago week.

delivered13,028 coal carloads, down from last week's 13,375 carloads and down 41.9% fromlast year's weekly shipment.

Datafrom Kansas City Southern Railway Co.showed that total weekly coal carloads were at 973, slipping from 1,359 carloadslast week. The railroad serves 10 U.S. states and Mexico.

Year-to-date production 32.9%behind

Accordingto data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, estimated U.S. coal productionfor the week ended April 30 plummeted 35.3%, to about 11.3 million tons, comparedwith nearly 17.4 million tons in 2015.

For the52 weeks ended April 30, production was reported at nearly 787.3 million tons, a19.9% contraction from last year's output, the EIA data showed. Year-to-date coaloutput toppled 32.9% to roughly 211.2 million tons through April 30.

The Westernregion's coal production for the week reached 6.5 million tons, representing a 33.1%cutback from last year's nearly 9.7 million tons. Data for the Western region coversPowder River Basin mines.

Coalproduction from Appalachian mines for the week was largely down by 40% year overyear to 2.7 million tons, compared with nearly 4.5 million tons in 2015.

For theInterior region, weekly total coal production reported a 35.1% reduction, to 2.1million tons from 3.2 million tons a year ago. Interior region data covers minesin the Illinois Basin.

The EIA'sproduction data is derived from rail carload estimates.

Data collected by S&P GlobalMarket Intelligence from railroads indicate both cars originated on their linesduring the week and cars received from a connecting railroad during the same week.