Construction MMI®: Chinese Rebar Hits Record Low, US Economy May Have Shrunk in First Quarter

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The week in construction saw Chinese rebar trading at an all-time low and a continued dearth of skilled subcontractors in Colorado.

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Reuters reported that while The US trade deficit for March narrowed 3.6% to $40.4 billion as exports rose, the gap was greater than the $38.9 billion that the government used as an assumption last week when it issued an advance estimate of annualized first-quarter growth of 0.1%, which means the U.S. economy actually may have shrunk for the first time in three years. “There is a very high chance that GDP will be revised to show a contraction in the first quarter, possibly in the neighborhood of minus 0.5%,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York.

With a 1.8 percent increase over the past week, European 1050 aluminum was the biggest mover on the weekly Construction MMI®. Chinese aluminum bar traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 14,200 ($2,274) per metric ton.

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Chinese rebar prices were off slightly at CNY 3,340 ($534.76) per metric ton, down from CNY 3,370 ($538.53) a week ago. The price of US shredded scrap declined 0.3 percent over the past week, settling at $395.00 per short ton. Closing at CNY 970.00 ($155.31) per dry metric ton, the Chinese low price of 62% Australian iron ore fines remained unchanged for the week. At CNY 3,230 ($517.15) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for Chinese H-beam steel.

The weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge fell 0.4 percent to $0.55 per mile after rising 0.6 percent the week before. Following a 1.3 percent increase in the week prior, the weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge fell 0.4 percent last week to $0.52 per mile. The weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge fell 0.1 percent to $0.55 per mile after rising 1.5 percent the week before.

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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