Home Construction Falls Again, US Scrap Finishes the Week Down, Rebar Rises

U.S. home construction fell for a third month in February, but in a hopeful sign, applications for building permits rose to their highest level in four months. Builders started work on 907,000 homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in February, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was down a slight 0.2 percent from January, when construction had fallen 11.2 percent.

Major projects such as California’s high-speed rail are gaining approvals as Spring and the heavy construction season will soon begin in much of the country. Two California state agencies issued an environmental permit and approval to condemn nine parcels of land in Fresno that will help advance the construction of the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s train line, according to the Fresno Bee. The land condemnation approval by the Public Works Board would secure right of way for the high-speed rail line.

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After falling 2.3 percent, US shredded scrap landed, making it the week’s biggest mover on the weekly Construction MMI®. The price of Chinese rebar rose 0.9 percent after falling 2.4 percent. The Chinese low price of 62% Australian iron ore fines remained unchanged for the week. Prices for Chinese H-beam steel remained constant.

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Chinese aluminum bar remained unchanged for the week. European 1050 aluminum prices held steady from the previous week.

The weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge declined 0.7 percent since last week. Following a 0.8 percent increase in the week prior, the weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge fell 0.4 percent last week. The weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge fell 0.3 percent.

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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. 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.

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