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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

RTA report: Tie purchases soar, production plummets in November


Crosstie production exceeded purchases by a wide margin in October, but the opposite happened in November. Purchases totaling 1.6 million units jumped 19 percent while production totaling 1.7 million units dropped more than 15 percent compared with October levels, according to the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) monthly market report.

Inventories increased in November, too, rising about 1 percent to 15.7 million units.

Through 2008’s first 11 months, tie purchases rose about 1 percent to 19.5 million units while production decreased 4 percent to 18.3 million units compared with totals from the same 2007 period. Inventories rose slightly.

Meanwhile, 12-month rolling data shows purchases “decelerated at a 2.5 percent annual pace” to 20.4 million units and production “slowed to the tune of 4.7 percent” to 19.7 million units, RTA said. Inventories declined 4.4 percent, but the inventory-to-sales ratio remained virtually unchanged at 0.77 — just a tad below the average of 0.80 from the past five years, the report states.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/16/2008