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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

RTA’s October tie counts: Production climbed, purchases fell


In October, crosstie production totaled 1.64 million units, up 6.3 percent compared with September production, according to the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) latest monthly market report. Tie purchases for the month rose 6.4 percent from September’s level to 1.76 million units.

On a year-over-year basis, production climbed 10.1 percent, but purchases fell 2.4 percent. The inventory-to-sales ratio dipped slightly to 0.66 from September’s 0.67.

Through 2018’s first 10 months, tie production totaled 14.9 million units, down 16.7 percent compared with the same 2017 period. Tie purchases decreased 7.5 percent to 18.7 million units. The inventory-to-sales ratio was down by 0.21 points from the previous year’s level, RTA officials said in the report.

Meanwhile, 12-month rolling data shows tie purchases — at 23.77 million units — declined at a 6.2 percent annual rate. Tie production, which totaled 23.48 million units in that timeframe, is trending lower and is down an annual rate of 19.8 percent, RTA officials said.

Twelve-month rolling data also shows the inventory-to-sales ratio was down 0.15 points from the year-ago level.