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Crosstie production in September rose 4.2 percent from August's level to 1.9 million units, but purchases declined 4 percent on a month-over-month basis to 1.7 million units, according to the Railway Tie Association's (RTA) latest monthly market report. In September 2013, production and purchases totaled nearly 1.8 million units and 2 million units, respectively.The tie inventory ratcheted up from 15.3 million units at August's end to 15.5 million units at September's end, while the inventory-to-sales ratio inched up from 0.64 on Aug. 31 to 0.65 on Sept. 30.Through 2014's first nine months, production decreased 6.8 percent to 15 million units and purchases dipped 4.7 percent to 17.7 million units compared with the same 2013 period. In the third quarter, production totaled 5.5 million units versus 4.8 million in the second quarter and 4.6 million in the first quarter, while purchases totaled 5.8 million units versus 6.1 million in the second quarter and 5.8 million in the first quarter.Meanwhile, 12-month rolling data showed purchases — which have been on an upswing for more than a year — stood at 23.8 million units and were climbing at a 2.8 percent annual rate, RTA officials said. But production, which peaked in October 2012, continued to decline, they said. Totaling 20.3 million units, production was down 7.6 percent from the year-ago level.
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