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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

RTA: Tie purchases, production ticked up in March

After falling in February, crosstie production inched up 1.4 percent in March to 1.7 million units, according to the Railway Tie Association's (RTA) monthly market report.

And after a "dramatic" gain the previous month, tie purchases climbed another 6 percent in March to 2.2 million units, RTA officials said in the report. Inventories dropped 2.2 percent to 19.3 million ties.

In the first quarter, tie production declined 9 percent to 5.5 million units and purchases fell 10 percent to 5.6 million units on a year-over-year basis.

"Compared with the fourth quarter, production was off 6.6 percent while purchases were up 22 percent," RTA officials said.

Meanwhile, 12-month rolling data showed production was leveling off, yet increased 5.4 percent versus March 2012 to 24.7 million units. Purchases totaling 22.5 million were falling at a 1.5 percent annual pace, RTA officials said. Inventories increased 13 percent during the 12-month period and the inventory-to-sales ratio rose from 0.75 to 0.86.

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