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After exploding in May then plummeting in June, crosstie purchases got back on track in July, climbing 29 percent from June's level to 2.2 million units, according to the Railway Tie Association's (RTA) latest monthly market report.Tie production broke away from a downward trend and jumped 12 percent from June's mark to 1.8 million units, the report states. The inventory-to-sales ratio "dropped moderately" from 0.81 in June to 0.79 in July, RTA officials said.Through 2013's first seven months, purchases were down 6 percent to 14.1 million units and production was down 16 percent to 12.4 million units compared with the same 2012 period. Since peaking in January, tie inventories — which totaled 17.6 million units at July's end — have dropped 12 percent, the report states.Meanwhile, 12-month rolling data showed both purchases and production continued to decline from last year's high levels, RTA officials said. Purchases totaling 22.2 million units were significantly off the July 2012 peak of 24.3 million units, and production totaling 22.9 million units was quite a ways down from the October 2012 peak of 25.4 million units, they said.
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