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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Railway Tie Association: Production up, purchases down in May


In May, crosstie production maintained growth momentum, increasing 12 percent from April’s level to 2.3 million units, according to the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) latest monthly crosstie market report.

Tie purchases, on the other hand, followed “a zig-zag pattern” in May by falling 18 percent to 2 million units after posting a 36 percent gain in April, the report states. Tie inventories, which reached 16.9 million units by May’s end, increased 1.6 percent and the inventory-to-sales ratio stood pat at 0.71, the lowest reading in more than three years.

Through 2012’s first five months, tie production totaled 10.4 million units, up 20 percent, and purchases totaled 10.7 million units, up 24 percent compared with the same 2011 period.

Meanwhile, 12-month rolling data through May shows tie trends were “strongly positive,” with production (at 24.4 million units) growing at an annual rate of 21.6 percent and purchases (at 23.8 million units) growing at a rate of more than 15 percent, RTA officials said in the report. Tie inventories were up 3.7 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/12/2012