Rail Traffic Takes A Turn For The Worse

Rail traffic turned down sharply this week as intermodal traffic dipped -6.2%.  That brings the 3 month moving average to 2.7%, down sharply from last week’s reading of 3.5%.  One week doesn’t make a trend, but rail trends haven’t been negative since 2009 so this is one to keep a close eye on if things continue to deteriorate.  Here’s more from the AAR:

“AAR today also reported declines in rail traffic for the week ending Nov. 3, 2012, which included impacts from Hurricane Sandy.  Last week U.S. railroads originated 278,230 carloads, down 6.8 per cent compared with the same week last year, while intermodal volume for the week totaled 224,467 trailers and containers, down 6.2 per cent compared with the same week last year.

10 of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 61.5 per cent; farm products excluding grain, up 46.4 per cent, and lumber and wood products, up 24 per cent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included iron and steel scrap, down 25.8 per cent; metallic ores, down 22.9, and nonmetallic minerals, down 22.5 per cent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 12.7 per cent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 3 per cent compared with the same week in 2011. “

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(Chart via Orcam Investment Research)

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