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US Freight Rail Traffic on Track, but Mexico Stays Derailed

PART:
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Part 4
US Freight Rail Traffic on Track, but Mexico Stays Derailed PART 4 OF 14

What Really Pushed CSX’s Freight Volumes in Week 27?

CSX’s freight traffic in week 27

Jacksonville-based rail carrier CSX (CSX) reported a marginal rise of 0.3% in freight railcars in the 27th week of 2017 (ended July 8), moving nearly 60,000 railcars.

Like Norfolk Southern (NSC), CSX also saw its railcars other than coal and coke decline by 2% YoY (year-over-year) last week to around 47,000, compared with ~48,000 in the same week last year. CSX’s rise in railcar volumes was in tune with the traffic growth posted by US railroads for the same week this year.

What Really Pushed CSX&#8217;s Freight Volumes in Week 27?

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CSX’s coal volumes

CSX’s coal (ARLP) and coke carloads rose 9.5% YoY in the week ended July 8, 2017, compared with nearly 12,000 coal and coke carloads in the same week last year, reaching ~13,000 carloads. The percentage rise in CSX’s coal (CNX) carloads was much higher than NSC’s growth in the same category.

CSX’s volumes in the first 27 weeks

If we compare CSX’s volume rise with the US railroads in the first 27 weeks of the year, CSX’s total railcars expanded only slightly, while US railroad volumes rose by 6.2% in the same period.

Commodity-wise, CXX witnessed major volume gains in chemicals, lumber and wood products, non-metallic minerals and crushed stone, sand, and gravel in the first 27 weeks of 2017. Petroleum and petroleum products (UNG), grain, metallic ores, primary forest products, and motor vehicles lost volumes.

Advancing and declining commodity groups

The commodities that advanced in volumes in the 27th week of 2017 were:

  • grain mill products
  • chemicals
  • nonmetallic minerals

The commodity groups that showed sharp volume slumps were:

  • grain
  • petroleum and petroleum products
  • primary forest products
  • iron and steel scrap

Continue to the next part for an update on CSX’s intermodal volumes.

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