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In October, crosstie production dropped 6.3 percent to 2.2 million units and purchases plummeted 33.7 percent to 1.1 million units from September levels, according to the Railway Tie Association (RTA).Compared with year-ago levels, production fell 18 percent while purchases plunged 41.9 percent, according to the RTA's October market report.Production during the first 10 months of 2016 rose 2.8 percent to 23.2 million units compared with the same period in 2015. Purchases slipped 0.6 percent to 20.6 million units on a year-over-year basis.After a moderate upswing, purchases started to decline from June 2016, but still are up at a 0.2 percent annual rate based on a 12-month rolling total, RTA officials reported. Production, which was in a strong uptrend for many months, recently started trending lower. However, production is still up 5.6 percent from the year-ago level, RTA officials said.