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Orders for railroad tank cars fell sharply in second quarter, reflecting lower shipments of crude oil amid falling prices.
Orders for 3,155 tank cars were placed in the quarter, down 29% from first quarter and off 70% from the second quarter of 2014, the Railway Supply Institute reported.
The order backlog dropped 11% from the first quarter to 46,375 tank cars.
The decline comes amid a broad decline in energy shipments at railroads.
Carload volume for oil and petroleum products for the week ended July 18 was down 20% from last year and were off 2.7% in the first 28 weeks of 2015 from the same period in 2014, according to the Association of American Railroads.
Kansas City Southern this week reported a 46% decline in energy shipments, and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. said revenue from crude oil shipping slumped 29% in the quarter.
Meanwhile, orders for boxcars surged in the second quarter as shippers—led by the paper industry—complained of car shortages caused by railroads culling older boxcars from their fleets. Boxcar orders were 2,940 against none last year and 120 boxcars ordered in the first quarter.
This article first appeared on www.wsj.com
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