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10/3/2008



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Tie production and purchases post gains in August, RTA says


Crosstie production and purchases increased in August vs. July levels, staying true to normal seasonal patterns, according to the Railway Tie Association's (RTA) monthly market report. Production totaling 2 million units rose 6.7 percent and purchases totaling 2.1 million units increased 8.2 percent.

Tie inventories in August fell 0.5 percent (or by 72,000 ties) to 14.6 million units compared with July's total.

During 2008's first eight months, production rose 3.8 percent to 14.5 million units while purchases jumped 18.8 percent to 16.7 million units compared with totals from the same 2007 period.

Twelve-month rolling data shows production up slightly (by 0.1 percent) to 21 million units and purchases way up (by 12.4 percent) to 23 million units.

"Purchases ... continue to outpace production," RTA officials said in the report. "Inventories declined 11.8 percent and the inventory-to-sales ratio fell to 0.64, well below the 0.79 average from the past five years."


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