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In May, tie production soared 13 percent to 1.5 million units and purchases inched up 0.9 percent to 1.8 million units compared with April levels, according to the Railway Tie Association's (RTA) latest market report.On a year-over-year basis, production dropped 19.5 percent in May, while purchases plummeted 21.9 percent.Year to date, production totaled 7 million ties, down 23.7 percent compared with the same period a year ago. Purchases totaled 8.8 million ties, down 1.6 percent.Meanwhile, 12-month rolling totals through May show purchases are in an upward trend at a 1.8 percent annual rate. However, production is trending lower and is down by a 26.5 percent annual rate.