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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

RTA's April report: Tie production continues to lag behind purchases

Crosstie demand continues to exceed production. Last month, tie purchases totaling 1.88 million units rose 7.5 percent but tie production totaling 1.42 million units dropped 2 percent compared with March, according to the Railway Tie Association's (RTA) monthly market report. Tie inventories decreased 3 percent to 13.9 million units in April.

During 2005’s first four months, tie purchases rose 12 percent compared with the same 2004 period and 21 percent compared with a similar period during the past five years.

“Although last year’s production was quite strong, this year’s production falls 18 percent under that mark,” RTA officials said in the report. “However, current production is 3 percent higher than the average from the past five years.”

During the past 12 months, tie purchases totaled 18.4 million units and production totaled 18.2 million units. Purchases are increasing at a 4 percent clip, but production is decreasing an average of 2.4 percent, RTA said. April's inventory-to-sales ratio of 0.76 fell 0.04 points compared with March’s 0.80 ratio.

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More News from 5/23/2005