Houston — US coal carload originations rose to a seven-week high 64,252 in the week that ended April 24, up 4.3% from 61,600 a week earlier and 33.5% higher than the year-ago week, according to a April 28 report from the Association of American Railroads.
Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.Register Now
It was the fifth time in the last 23 months with week-on-week and yearly increases, while the 33.5% year-on-year increase was the largest in over nine years. However, the latest week was down 7.6% from the five-year average for the corresponding week.
Coal carloads represented 11.9% of all the traffic on US railways, up from 11.6% a week earlier, but down from 12% in the year-ago week.
Since Jan. 1, cumulative coal carloads are at 963,944, down 0.7% from the same period a year ago.
Coal originations on Canadian railroads – including the US operations of Canadian National, which serves several mines in the Illinois Basin – fell to 6,631 carloads, down 9.5% from a week earlier and 7.2% lower than the year-ago week. Year-to-date coal originations are up 6% on the year at 113,398.
For the second time in the last two years, all four major Class I railroads -- Norfolk Southern, CSX, Union Pacific and BNSF – saw weekly and year-on-year increases.
BNSF reported a six-week high 29,144 coal carload originations and interchanges in the latest week, up 3.6% from the prior week and 39.5% higher than in the year-ago week, according to rail-reported data.
So far in 2021, total BNSF carloads are at 430,756, up 0.2% from the same period a year earlier.
Union Pacific reported a seven-week high 13,295 coal carload movements in the most recent week, up 2.8% from the previous week and 0.2% higher year on year.
Cumulative coal carloads so far in 2021 for UP are at 200,446, down 12.6% from the same period a year ago.
CSX coal carloads rose to 11,855, up 1.7% from a week earlier and 29.2% higher than the year-ago week.
Since Jan. 1, CSX coal carloads have totaled 198,605, up 0.5% from a year ago.
Norfolk Southern reported 13,195 coal cars loaded in the latest week, up 6.3% from the prior week and 68.8% higher on the year.
Total coal carloads for NS are at 197,753 since Jan. 1, up 9.8% from the same period a year ago.
Request a free trial of: Coal Trader
Platts Coal Trader provides traders, risk managers, analysts and other professionals with factors affecting the coal market including supply and demand dynamics, export market fluctuations, and market moves. Click the link below to see how this publication can meet your needs.Free Trial