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In August, crosstie production increased again, but purchases dropped significantly for the second-straight month. Production rose 1.7 percent to 1.8 million units and purchases plummeted 22.4 percent to 1.78 million units compared with July levels, according to the Railway Tie Association (RTA).On a year-over-year basis, production declined 5.2 percent and purchases fell 28.2 percent. Inventories as of Aug. 31 were relatively flat at 15.31 million units (versus 15.27 million units at July's end) and the inventory-to-sales ratio rose to 0.64 from July's 0.62.Through 2014's first eight months, production was down 8.7 percent to 13 million units and purchases were down 3.7 percent to 16 million units compared with the same 2013 period.Meanwhile, 12-month rolling data through August shows purchases (at 24 million units) were climbing at a 4 percent annual rate while production (at 20.1 million units) was declining at a 9.6 percent clip, RTA officials said in their monthly report.
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