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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

October tie purchases and production plummet below seasonal averages, RTA says


In October, crosstie purchases and production each decreased 12 percent compared with September levels — a drop-off that exceeds seasonal norms, according to the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) monthly market activity report. Purchases and production totaled 1.5 million units and 1.7 million units, respectively.

However, tie inventories rose 1.6 percent to 16.6 million units and the inventory-to-sales ratio edged up to 0.80 compared with September’s 0.78 ratio.

Through 2006’s first 10 months, tie purchases totaled 18 million units and production totaled 19.1 million units.

“Purchases are up by a still impressive 12 percent [and] production is surpassing last year’s number by an amazing 21 percent,” RTA officials said in the report.

Twelve-month rolling totals show purchases totaling 20.7 million units, up 11 percent, and production totaling 22.6 million units, up 22 percent compared with the previous 12-month period.

“Purchases peaked in September at 21 million ties and dropped slightly in October,” RTA officials said. “Although the pace has eased a bit, the growth rate is very healthy.”

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/28/2006