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9/29/2009



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Tie purchases continued to climb, production continued to drop off in August, RTA says


In August, crosstie production and purchases continued to veer in different directions, according to the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) monthly tie market report. Tie production dropped an “unseasonal-like” 13 percent to 1.7 million units while purchases increased 1 percent to 1.9 million units compared with August 2008 data.

During 2009’s first eight months, production remained ahead of 2008’s pace, climbing 29 percent to 16.5 million units. Purchases inched up 0.3 percent to 15.1 million units and inventories increased 1.4 million units to 17.6 million ties compared with figures from the same 2008 period.

Twelve-month rolling data showed production, which totaled 24 million units, climbed at a 24 percent annual rate while purchases, which totaled 20.1 million units, declined at a 1.5 percent rate, RTA officials said in the report. Tie inventories rose 21 percent during the 12-month period, but declined 1 percent in August.

The inventory-to-sales ratio fell slightly from July’s 0.85 to 0.84 in August. However, the ratio remained well above the five-year average of 0.77, RTA said.


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