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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

RTA report: Tie purchases climb, but production falls in November


After two-straight monthly declines, crosstie purchases in November rose 8 percent from October’s level to 992,000 units, according to the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) monthly tie market report. However, purchases remained 25 percent below the average from the past five Novembers.

Tie production continued a five-month slide in November, dropping 18 percent from October’s level to 1.2 million units, the report shows. Tie inventories increased 1.3 percent to 18.8 million units and the inventory-to-sales ratio stood at 0.95 at November’s end compared with an average of 0.79 the past five Novembers.

Through 2009’s first 11 months, production totaling 20.9 million units exceeded year-ago levels by 14 percent, while purchases totaling 18.3 million units fell 6.2 percent, the report states.

Meanwhile, 12-month rolling data shows production and purchases have tumbled from spring and summer highs, the RTA said. Production totaled 22.8 million units and purchases totaled 19.7 million units during the period.

“Production is growing at a 16 percent annual rate, while purchases are falling at a 3.7 percent rate,” the report states.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/15/2009