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Weekly US grain shipments by rail fall 19.6% on year: trade group

US rail transportation of grain products in the week that ended December 30 totaled 15,713 carloads, down 19.6% compared with the year-ago week, Association of American Railroads data showed Wednesday.

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Rail transportation of chemical products fell 8.1% year on year to 327,944 cars, the data show. AAR designates fuel-grade ethanol as a chemical product.

Cumulatively, grain product shipments totaled 1.15 million carloads in 2017, down 2.7% compared with 2016. Chemical product shipments totaled 1.61 million cars, 1.2% higher than 2016's total, AAR said.

Total carloads last week saw a 9.8% year-on-year decrease to 194,680 cars, AAR said. Including total carloads and intermodal units -- which totaled 202,352 units -- total US railroad traffic was 397,032, a decline of 6.8% year on year, it said.

Total 2017 traffic was up 3.4% from 2016, according to AAR.

--Wes Swift, wesley.swift@spglobal.com

--Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, keiron.greenhalgh@spglobal.com