Scrap Prices, Fuel Surcharges Drive Construction Sector Metals

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graph of metal price trends used in construction sector

Slightly higher steel scrap prices, European aluminum sheet prices, and rising bar fuel surcharges primarily drove our construction sector index up two points in August to 87, a 2.4% increase over July.

“News from the construction industry remains mixed, with non-residential housing starts negative in the second quarter, according to recent data from McGraw Hill Dodge – and confirmed by the Department of Commerce, according to Gerdau Market Update,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner.

Compare with last month’s trends: Download July’s Monthly MMI® Report.

“And according to Reed Construction Data, the PPI for materials and components used in construction slipped 0.1% on a seasonally adjusted (SA) basis in June,” Reisman also said.

But according to Gerdau Market Update, many of the steel longs construction indicators remain positive.

Breakdown of Index Price Drivers 

For the second month in a row, the price of Chinese rebar increased, rising 6.1 percent over the past month. After rising 4.4 percent, the weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge finished the month higher. US shredded scrap finished the month after gaining 3.8 percent. The weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge climbed 3.6 percent. The weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge rose 2.7 percent. Chinese H-beam steel finished the month up 1.5 percent per metric ton.

The price of European 1050 aluminum drifted 0.2 percent lower in its local market, however, it appreciated for US buyers by more than $300 per metric ton.

Also, the Chinese low price of 62% Australian iron ore fines appreciated only slightly. Last month was consistent for Chinese aluminum bar, which barely moved.

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The Construction MMI® collects and weights 9 metal price points used within the construction industry to provide a unique view into construction industry price trends over a 30-day period. For more information on the Construction MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.