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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

RTA report: Tie purchases, production jump in June


What a difference one month makes. After plummeting to 1 million units in May, crosstie purchases ballooned in June to 2.4 million units — the highest level since May 2006, according to the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) monthly crosstie market report.

“Recent purchases have been erratic,” RTA officials said in the report.

Meanwhile, June tie production reached 1.4 million units, up from 1.1 million units in May and the highest level in eight months. The tie inventory dropped 5 percent from May’s level to 16.1 million units and inventory-to-sales ratio fell from May's 0.98 to 0.90 in June.

Through 2010’s first half, tie purchases numbered 9.7 million units, about 86 percent of the total through 2009’s first half. Production numbered 7.2 million units, only 44 percent of the total from the same 2009 period, RTA said.

In terms of 12-month rolling totals, purchases “continued their year-long slide” at 18 million units, but “at a slower 13 percent annual pace,” the report states. Production of 16.5 million units was down 22 percent from a year ago and inventories dropped 8 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/30/2010