Contractors Optimistic About 2014; US Shredded Scrap Gains

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“Unusually cold and stormy weather crimped construction activity over the last couple of months, but it hasn’t dented builders’ optimism about the industry’s recovery,” reports The Wall Street Journal.

“’Contractors are more optimistic about 2014 than they have been in a long time,’ Stephen Sandherr, chief executive of Associated General Contractors of America, told reporters Tuesday.”

“A survey by the trade group found its members expect private spending to rise this year for most types of building projects. They forecast government spending on infrastructure will level off after several years of declines. ‘Many firms plan to begin hiring again, while relatively few plan to start making layoffs,’ said Mr. Sandherr.”

“The group’s economists forecast construction spending will rise by 8% to 10% this year and that the industry will add between 250,000 and 350,000 jobs.”

In metal price news for the construction sector…

US shredded scrap saw the largest upwards shift on the weekly Construction MMI®, rising 1.2 percent to settle. The price of Chinese rebar fell 0.3 percent over the past week. This was the fourth week in a row of declining prices. The Chinese low price of 62% Australian iron ore fines remained essentially flat. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese H-beam steel closed flat.

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The week finished with no movement for Chinese aluminum bar. European 1050 aluminum remained essentially flat from the previous week.

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The weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge fell 1.0 percent last week. Since last week, the price of the weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge fell after moving 0.4 percent. The weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge saw a 0.9 percent drop this week.

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. 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.