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Tie market: Fewer purchases, less production in April

Crosstie purchases and production slowed in April after an active March. Purchases fell 13.4 percent to 2.14 million units and production declined 5.1 percent to 1.56 million units versus March levels, according to the Railway Tie Association (RTA).

On a year-over-year basis, purchases climbed 11.3 percent and production dropped 9.5 percent. The tie inventory in April dipped from March's 17.1 million count to 16.5 million and the inventory-to-sales ratio fell from 0.69 to 0.66.

Through 2014's first four months, production totaling 6.2 million units decreased 14.1 percent while purchases totaling 7.9 million units rose 14.5 percent compared with the same 2013 period.

Meanwhile, 12-month rolling totals show purchases through April (at 25.1 million units) were climbing at a 14.5 percent annual rate, according to the RTA. However, production (at 20.3 million units) was down 16.6 percent from the year-ago level.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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