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AAR: U.S. railroad traffic falls 8.5 percent in week 20

U.S. railroad traffic fell 8.5 percent to 506,983 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending May 21 compared with the same week a year ago, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday. Total carloads for the week dropped 10.6 percent to 244,290, while intermodal volume decreased 6.5 percent to 262,693 containers and trailers compared with traffic in the same week last year. Only four of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases. They included miscellaneous carloads, up 20.7 percent to 10,071 carloads; nonmetallic minerals, up 4.7 percent to 37,326 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, up 2.1 percent to 19,067 carloads. Among commodity groups logging decreases, coal still led the pack with a 28.8 percent decrease to 66,709 carloads. Also, petroleum and petroleum products were down 21.5 percent to 11,593 carloads; and forest products were down 8.3 percent to 10,341 carloads. For the first 20 weeks of the year, U.S. railroads' cumulative volume fell 14 percent to 4,803,310 carloads and 1.7 percent to 5,150,727 intermodal units compared with the same period in 2015. Canadian railroads for the week ending May 21 posted 67,402 carloads, down 12.7 percent, and 61,756 intermodal units, up 1.2 percent compared with the same week in 2015. For the 20-week period, Canadian railroads logged cumulative rail traffic volume of 2,565,369 carloads, containers and trailers, down 7.3 percent, compared with the year-ago period. Mexican railroads transported 17,970 carloads for the week, up 7.2 percent compared with the same week last year, and 11,132 intermodal units, down 4.4 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 20 weeks of 2016 was 536,173 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 0.1 percent from the same point last year.

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