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Weekly US coal train loadings tick lower on PRB lull: STB

Highlights

PRB loadings at 10-week low

All other major basins up week on week

Powder River Basin coal train loadings fell to a 10-week low in the week ended Aug. 6, dragging down the entire US average by 1.3% to 78 trains/day, recent Surface Transportation Board data showed.

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Loadings in the Powder River Basin averaged 44.3 trains/day in the most recent reporting week, a 5.5% decrease week on week and the lowest level since an average 42.8 trains/day were loaded in the week ended May 28.

Cumulative PRB loadings this year were at an average 41.9 trains/day, up from 38.3 trains/day in the same period a year ago.

All other major US coal basins increased daily average coal train loadings in week 32, according to data filed to the STB by the four major Class I railroads – CSX, Union Pacific, BNSF and Norfolk Southern.

The Illinois Basin showed the largest week-on-week increase in coal train loadings in the country.

Illinois Basin coal train loadings averaged 5.4 trains/day in the most recent reporting week, up 18.8% week on week and up 32.4% from the year-ago week. Cumulative ILB loadings were at 4.7 trains/day, up from an average 3.8 trains/day in the year-ago period.

Northern Appalachia Basin coal train loadings showed an average 5.1% week-on-week increase to 9.7 trains/day, up 27.5% year on year. Cumulative NAPP loadings were at an average 9.5 trains/day through week 32, up from 7.4 trains/day in the year-ago period.

Central Appalachia Basin coal train loadings increased 4.9% on the week to 12.2 trains/day, a 17% increase on the year. Cumulative CAPP loadings were at 12.3 trains/day, up from 11.4 trains/day in the year-ago period.

Loadings from outside of the primary basins fell by 4.5% week on week to 6.4 trains/day, up 28% from the year-ago week. Cumulative loadings from non-primary basins averaged 6.1 trains/day through week 32, up from 5.6 trains/day average in the year-ago period.