Overall traffic dropped 4.2% compared with the first quarter of 2014 to 88.1 million tonnes, the biggest first-quarter fall since 2009, when traffic plunged 21.2%. First quarter volumes dipped 1.1% year-on-year to 27.6 billion tonne-km.
International traffic fell 4.9%, while domestic traffic declined 2.1%. Import traffic dropped 13.2%, again the largest fall since the first quarter of 2009, and this can be attributed to a fall in demand for foreign coal.
It was also a poor start to the year for intermodal traffic, which at 1.4 million TEU was down 12.8%
The overall traffic reductions were greatest in January and February with March showing a small increase in tonne-km, compared with the corresponding period in 2014.