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Crosstie purchases in February tumbled 19.4 percent from January's level to about 1.5 million units, while production declined 8.6 percent to 1.4 million units, according to the Railway Tie Association's (RTA) latest market report.On a year-over-year basis, purchases fell 27 percent and production decreased 16 percent. Inventories in February were flat versus January at 17.9 million units, while the inventory-to-sales ratio inched up from 0.72 the previous month to 0.73.Through 2014's first two months, production totaled nearly 3 million units, down 20.5 percent compared with the same 2013 period — still a 4 percent improvement from January's level, according to RTA. Purchases of 3.3 million units were down 2.5 percent year over year versus a 33.9 percent increase in January.Meanwhile, 12-month rolling totals show purchases (at 24.6 million units) were climbing at an 11 percent annual rate, maintaining an upswing that has been in place for nearly a year, RTA officials said in the report. But production (at 20.6 million units) was down 18 percent from the year-ago level.
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