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Crosstie production in November tumbled 18.4 percent to 1.68 million units and purchases fell 12.1 percent to 1.7 million units compared with October levels, according to the Railway Tie Association (RTA).On a year-over-year basis, production decreased 2.7 percent and purchases declined 15.5 percent. The tie inventory at November's end stood at 15,567,000 units, down only slight from 15,605,000 at October's end, and the inventory-to-sales ratio crept up from 0.66 in October to 0.67 in November.Through 2014's first 11 months, production totaled 18.7 million units, down 5.9 percent, and purchases totaled 21.4 million units, down 6.6 percent compared with the same 2013 period.Meanwhile, 12-month rolling data shows purchases (at 23.2 million units) continued to level off just a few months after an upswing that lasted more than a year, RTA officials said in a monthly market report. Purchases were declining at an annual rate of minus-4.4 percent. Production (at 20.2 million units) was down 6.2 percent from the year-ago level.