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3/31/2006



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

RTA report: Tie purchases and production rise slightly in February



Although North American crosstie purchases and production rose slightly in February compared with January, both segments posted big gains on a year-over-year basis, according to the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) monthly market report.

February purchases totaling 1.5 million units rose 1 percent compared with January and 7 percent compared with February 2005, while production totaling 1.7 million units increased 3.4 percent compared with January and 34 percent compared with February 2005. Tie inventories totaling 15.9 million units rose 1 percent in February compared with the previous month.

During a 12-month period ending in February, tie purchases totaled 18.9 million units — the highest total since RTA began collecting market data in 1987.

“Production at 20.1 million ties is nearing a record set during 1999,” RTA officials said in the report. “However, production is growing faster than purchases.”

During the 12-month period, the inventory-to-sales ratio increased from 0.81 to 0.84.

“No need for alarm: this is slightly below the average ratio (0.85) for the past fives year,” RTA officials said.


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