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Houston — Weekly US coal carloads totaled 89,997 in the week that ended December 23, up 2.5% from the prior week and up 6.4% from the year-ago week, the Association of American Railroads said Wednesday.

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Carloads peaked this year in mid-August at 97,873 carloads, and have averaged 84,462 carloads since January 1, the data show.

Anecdotal reports are that utility stockpiles remain relatively high given weak power demand, coupled with a wait-and-see mentality as buyers hold off in hopes of better demand signals from weather and natural gas headed into the winter.

In the East, CSX and Norfolk Southern continue to benefit from increased export demand, particularly for metallurgical coal.



For the year, coal carloads total 4.36 million, up 8.2% from the same period last year, the AAR data show.

For the individual railroads, BNSF Railway reported 37,096 carloads, up 0.2% from the prior week, but down 1.7% from the year-ago week.

For the year, BNSF's coal deliveries total 1.89 million carloads, up 6.9% from the same period last year.

Union Pacific reported 22,693 weekly coal carloads, up 0.6% from the prior week and up 2.2% from last year.

For the year, coal carloads total 1.16 million, up 6.6% from last year.

CSX reported 17,083 coal carloads, up 0.6% from the prior week and up 3.1% from the year-ago week.

For the year, coal carloads total 788,617 carloads, up 4.6% from last year.

Norfolk Southern reported 19,340 coal carloads, up 7.3% from the prior week and up 31.3% from the year-ago week. For the year, the railroad's coal carloads total 962,887, up 17.2% from last year.

--Andrew Moore, andrew.moore@spglobal.com
--Edited by Derek Sands, derek.sands@spglobal.com