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Low natgas prices, high utility stockpiles weigh on US railroad coal volumes: executives

With myriad headwinds driving down coal shipments this year, officials with Class 1 US railroads painted a dim picture of their coal business Wednesday while speaking at the Cowen and Company 8th Annual Global Transportation Conference in Boston.

In presentations broadcast online, officials with CSX, Northern Southern, Union Pacific, Kansas City Southern and Genesee & Wyoming sited low natural gas prices, mild summer weather and high utility stockpiles as the primary causes for a drop in demand.

Fredrik Eliasson, CSX’s chief sales and marketing officer, said the railroad will lose about $400 million in coal business this year compared with 2014 and by the end of this year about $1.3 billion of coal revenue will have “disappeared” over the last four years.

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