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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Tie purchases slip, production holds steady in January, RTA says


In January, crosstie purchases registered a “normal seasonal decline,” falling 12 percent from the previous month’s level to 1.16 million units, according to the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) monthly tie market report. Purchases had increased 32 percent in December and 8 percent in November.

January production fell slightly from December’s 1.25 million units to 1.19 million units, but remained fairly stable in both December and January after a four-month slide, the report states.

According to 12-month rolling data, purchases and production continued to fall from spring and summer highs.

“Nevertheless, production is growing at a 3.5 percent clip while purchases are declining at an 8 percent annual rate, [putting] production at 21.3 million ties and purchases at 19.1 million ties,” RTA officials said in the report.

The inventory-to-sales ratio climbed to a record 0.98 in January, “well above the 0.80 average from the most recent five years,” the report states.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/22/2010