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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Tie purchases, production rebound in August after early summer swoon, RTA says

After two-straight monthly declines, crosstie purchases and production rebounded in August, following seasonal patterns, according to the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) monthly market report.

Purchases totaling 1.8 million units increased 12.5 percent and production totaling 2.2 million ties rose 35 percent compared with July. In addition the inventory-to-sales ratio edged up from 0.76 in July to 0.77 in August.

During 2006’s first eight months, tie purchases totaled 15 million units, up 15 percent, and production totaled 15.5 million units, up 27 percent compared with similar 2005 data.

Twelve-month rolling totals show purchases increased 12 percent to 20.7 million ties compared with the previous 12-month period.

“[But] since May, annualized purchases appear to have hit a plateau,” RTA officials said in the report.

The 12-month rolling production total reached 22.5 million ties, up 23 percent, while the inventory-to-sales ratio held steady at 0.78 compared with the previous 12-month period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/25/2006