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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Tie purchases, production on slow pace in 2010, RTA says


Tie purchases tumbled while tie production plunged in February, according to the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) monthly crosstie market report. Purchases declined 7 percent to 1.07 million units and production fell 28 percent to 852,000 units compared with January levels.

“Production experienced a significant correction [last month],” RTA officials said in the report. “The year is off to a slow start, with production volume about half of 2009’s level.”

Meanwhile, 12-month rolling data shows both production and purchases continue to fall from spring and summer 2009 highs. Production totaling 19.9 million ties is contracting at a 6.8 percent annual rate while purchases totaling 18.1 million units are declining at a 14 percent rate, according to the report.

During the 12-month rolling period, the inventory-to-sales ratio climbed to a record 1.02, “well above the 0.80 average from the most recent five years,” RTA officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/22/2010