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Crosstie purchases rang up at 1.8 million units and production totaled 1.6 million units in January, both up about 2.3 percent compared with December levels, according to the Railway Tie Association's (RTA) monthly market report.But on a year-over-year basis, purchases climbed 12 percent while production dropped 18 percent. Production was compared against "an unusually strong January 2013," RTA officials said in the report.Tie inventories totaled about 18 million units at January's end and the inventory-to-sales ratio dropped from December's 0.74 to 0.72.Meanwhile, 12-month rolling totals through January showed purchases — which had been on an upswing for nearly a year — totaled 25.1 million units and were climbing at a 12 percent rate. Production, which had peaked in October 2012, totaled 20.9 million units and was down at an 18 percent clip.
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