With the industry headlines being dominated by coal plant retirements and mining company bankruptcy filings, the level of coal being shipped over North American railroads continues to be down so far in 2016, according to the latest data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
AAR said in an April 20 news release that coal carloads in the United States were down 36.5% from one year earlier for the week ended April 16. The U.S. total for the week was 63,090 carloads.
For the first 15 weeks of 2016, the average weekly shipments of domestic coal by rail averaged 70,605 carloads, a decline of 33.6%. (The figure excludes U.S. operations of Canadian National and Canadian Pacific).
The figures aren’t much better for North America as a whole. North American coal shipments were down 34.1% for the week ended April 16. The weekly average of North American coal car loadings was 77,877.
That figure represents a 32.2% decline in North American coal shipments by rail for the first 15 weeks of 2016.