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US coal production, rail traffic continue to drop in latest week

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US coal production, rail traffic continue to drop in latest week

Total U.S. coal rail traffic for the week ended June 30 slipped 5.3% year over year to 83,214 carloads, according to data from the Association of American Railroads.

Year-to-date coal rail traffic declined less than 1% through the week, while total rail traffic for the week grew 4.6% year over year to 564,243 carloads and intermodal units.

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BNSF Railway Co. coal shipment volumes clocked in at 34,999 carloads in the week ended June 30, increasing 1.8% from the previous week's 34,389 carloads but down 6.5% compared to 37,422 carloads the year-ago week.

Union Pacific Corp.'s coal shipment volumes this week were at 19,533 carloads, dropping 6.2% from 20,822 carloads the previous week and 17.7% lower than last year's weekly volume of 23,729.

Eastern railroad CSX Transportation Inc.'s shipment volumes of coal stood at 17,273 carloads, up 10.9% from the previous week's 15,579 carloads, and gaining 3.9% compared to 16,617 carloads the same week in the previous year.

Norfolk Southern Corp.'s coal shipment volumes totaled 18,250 carloads for the week, down 6.4% from the previous week's 19,501 carloads, but gaining less than 1% compared to 18,201 carloads the same week a year ago.

Kansas City Southern Railway Co.'s latest weekly coal shipment volume was 2,757 carloads, rising 1.2% from 2,724 carloads the previous week. The railroad serves 10 U.S. states and Mexico.

US coal production drops 6.2% YOY

According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, total U.S. coal production for the week decreased 6.2% year over year to 14.6 million tons, compared to 15.5 million tons during the same period last year.

For the 52 weeks ended June 30, production was reported at 763.5 million tons, representing a decrease of 3.5% year over year, while year-to-date coal output fell 2.3% year over year to about 375.4 million tons.

The western region's coal production for the week reached 8.0 million tons, posting a 4.1% year-over-year decline from the prior 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, falling by 7.0% from the year-ago week's 4.2 million tons.

The interior region's production contracted 11.4% to 2.7 million tons, compared to 3.0 million tons a year ago. 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 indicate both cars originated on their lines during the week and cars received from a connecting railroad during the same week.