Crosstie production in October climbed 9.1 percent to 2.3 million units while purchases fell 7.7 percent to 1.8 million units compared with October 2011 levels, according to the Railway Tie Association's (RTA) latest monthly market report. Inventories rose 2.7 percent to 18.5 million ties.
Production, which had exceeded purchases in eight of the past 12 months prior to October, again bested purchases, this time by a margin of 27 percent, RTA officials said in the report.
Through 2012's first 10 months, production jumped 14 percent to 21.7 million units and purchases rose 7.5 percent to 20.3 million compared with the same 2011 period.
Meanwhile, 12-month rolling data showed production (at 25.4 million ties) continued a "long-winded climb" in October, reaching an "annual pace" of 14 percent, RTA officials said. But purchases, which had peaked in July, retreated to March-April levels (23.1 million ties), yet at a "still growing" 6 percent rate, they said.
Inventories in the 12-month rolling period climbed 14 percent and the inventory-to-sales ratio rose from 0.74 to 0.80. In September, the ratio stood at 0.77.
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