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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Tie production and purchases dropped in December, RTA says


In December, crosstie production declined 7.5 percent from November’s level to 1.8 million units, less of a drop than seasonal norms typically dictate, according to the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) latest monthly crosstie market report.

Purchases fell 19 percent to 1.25 million units, somewhat in excess of seasonal norms, the report states. Inventories rose 3 percent to 17.1 million units.

In the fourth quarter, tie production rose 11 percent to 5.8 million units and purchases climbed 17.5 percent to 4.9 million units compared with fourth-quarter 2010 levels.

Meanwhile, 12-month rolling data shows year-end production, which totaled 22.7 million units, was growing at a 32 percent rate. Purchases eased “from a spectacular 22.1 million ties” in November to 21.7 million units in December, but still exceeded 2010 volume by 10 percent, the report states. An increase in inventories drove up the inventory-to-sales ratio from 0.75 in November to 0.79 in December.

Note: Recently updated data from two major reporting members corrected some inventory inputs to the RTA’s monthly report. The December report and a revised November report now reflect the updates, the RTA said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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