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11/27/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Tie production up, purchases down in October, RTA says



Following seasonal patterns, crosstie production shot up 20 percent in October after tumbling sharply in September, according to the Railway Tie Association's (RTA) monthly tie market report. Production increased from 1.6 million ties in September to 1.9 million units in October.

Also in keeping with seasonal norms, crosstie purchases in October dropped 10 percent to 1.6 million units compared with September's 1.8 million units. Tie inventories climbed 2 percent month over month to 16.7 million units.

During 2007's first 10 months, tie production decreased 8 percent to 17.4 million units while tie purchases declined 4 percent to 17.4 million units compared with totals from the same 2006 period.

"The market continues to chase last year's spectacular results," RTA officials said in the report. "Purchases are slightly (0.5 percent) ahead of production."

According to rolling 12-month data, production has stabilized at 20.8 million ties while purchases have slowly climbed back from a March drop-off to 20.7 million ties, RTA said. The inventory-to-sales ratio edged up slightly from 0.8 to 0.81.


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