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In May, crosstie production decreased 3.1 percent to 2.24 million units and purchases dropped 4.6 percent to 2.38 million units from April levels, according to the Railway Tie Association (RTA).Compared with year-ago levels, production is up 5.6 percent and purchases are up 16.4 percent. Production for the first five months of the year rose 11.8 percent to 11.4 million units, while purchases increased 8.6 percent 10.978 million units compared with the same period in 2015, according to the RTA's May report.Purchases have been in a "moderate upswing" since April 2015, and are up at a 5.2 percent annual rate, RTA officials said in the report. Production has been in a "strong uptrend" since November 2014, they said.