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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Tie purchases and production posted big gains in October, RTA says

Defying seasonal norms, crosstie purchases in October climbed 14.2 percent to 2.2 million units while production soared 18.2 percent to about 2.1 million units compared with September levels, according to the Railway Tie Association's (RTA) monthly tie market report.

The inventory-to-sales ratio declined slightly from September's 0.73 mark to 0.71. Inventories totaled 16.6 million units at October's end versus 16.8 million units at September's end. Since peaking in January, inventories have fallen 17 percent, RTA officials said in the report.

Through 2013's first 10 months, purchases totaled 20.8 million units, up 2.5 percent and the first gain after lagging for several months, they said. Production tumbled 17 percent in the period to 18.1 million units.

Meanwhile, 12-month rolling data shows purchases — which have been growing since spring — totaled 23.6 million units and were increasing at a 2 percent annual rate. Production, which peaked a year ago, continued to decline and dropped 14.1 percent from the previous 12-month period to 21.7 million units. Inventories fell about 10 percent, rolling data shows.

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More News from 12/2/2013