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Q2 coal revenue per ton decreases across the board for railroads: STB

Highlights

CSX faces steepest drop, down $2.77/st

CSX highest Q2 revenue per ton at $18.50

Houston — The average revenue per short ton for coal on the four major US railroads was $16.23/st in the second quarter of 2020, down $1.53/st cents from the year-ago quarter, Surface Transportation Board data showed Sept. 8.

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Year over year, all four railroads, which include BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific, experienced drops in revenue per ton, with CSX experiencing the largest decline of $2.77/st.

The quarterly commodity statistics, which are submitted by the railroads but not verified by the STB, show CSX had the highest average fourth-quarter coal price of $18.50/st, while NS had the lowest at $14.46/st.

The figures, which are accessible by the public and signed by railroad executives, show CSX moved 122,741 carloads of coal of all types in Q2, or 13.8 million st, with revenues of about $256 million.

By comparison, the railroad moved 212,345 carloads of coal in the second quarter of 2019, or about 24 million st, with revenues of $511 million.

NS moved 110,036 carloads in Q2, or 12.5 million st, with revenues of about $181 million, compared with carloads of 249,214 in Q2 2019, carrying 28.4million st with about $421 million in revenues.

BNSF's second quarter average was $14.98/st, compared with $16.21/st in the year-ago quarter. Union Pacific's most recent quarterly average was $16.97/st, compared with $18.77/st from Q2 2019.

BNSF shipped 291,099 carloads, or over 34.8 million st, with revenues of $522 million. In the year-ago quarter, the railroad shipped 441,425 carloads, with 52.6 million st and $852 billion in revenues.

UP Q2 carloads totaled 168,071, compared with 227,967 in the year-ago quarter. Second quarter tonnage was 19.9 million st, compared with 27.1 million st in Q2 2019, while revenues in the most recent quarter totaled about $338 million, down from $508 million.