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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Tie production climbed to 11-month high in August, RTA says


After following an erratic pattern in May, June and July, crosstie purchases climbed to 2 million units in August vs. 1.7 million units in July and 1.9 million units in August 2009, according to the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) monthly tie market report. August production totaled 1.56 million units, besting July’s 1.49 million units and reaching the highest level since September 2009’s 1.66 million units.

In addition, tie inventories continued a seven-month-long drop off, falling about 3 percent in August to 15.2 million units, the report states. The inventory-to-sales ratio in August dropped from July’s 0.87 to 0.84 — the lowest ratio since August 2009.

Through 2010’s first eight months, production remained down 38 percent at 10.2 million units while purchases were off 9 percent at 13.7 million units compared with data from the same 2009 period.

Meanwhile, 12-month rolling data shows that purchases have stabilized at 18 million units, but remain down 13 percent from year-ago levels, the report states. Production at 16 million units is down 33 percent, but the rate of decline is moderating, according to the RTA. Inventories decreased 13 percent during the 12-month rolling period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/21/2010