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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

RTA report: Tie purchases climb, production falls in July

In July, crosstie production and purchases — which had been relatively stable since April — went in different directions, according to the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) monthly tie market report. Tie production dipped 1 percent to 2 million units while purchases increased 4 percent to 1.9 million units compared with July 2008 data.

During 2009’s first seven months, production soared 34 percent to 14.8 million units, but purchases only inched up 0.2 percent to 13.2 million units vs. figures from the same 2008 period.

Twelve-month rolling data showed production, which totaled 24 million units, “was booming at a 22 percent annual rate,” RTA officials said in the report. However, purchases totaling 20.1 million units declined at a 1.5 percent annual rate.

Tie inventories, which jumped 21 percent during the past 12 months, increased only 0.7 percent to 17.8 million units compared with previous 12-month rolling data.

The inventory-to-sales ratio in July remained at 0.85, which is well above the five-year average of 0.76, RTA said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/26/2009