Construction Metals Index Down, But Census Project Data Bodes Well For Summer

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The monthly Construction MMI® registered a value of 87 in June, a decrease of 1.1 percent from 88 in May.

The slight decrease reflected, mainly, projects that experienced delays in April and May as harsh winter weather pushed back construction dates in the US’ Northeast and Midwest regions.

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Nonresidential construction spending actually inched up in April according to a June 2 release of data by the US Census Bureau. This is the second consecutive month spending has increased following March’s upwardly revised spending report. Nonresidential construction spending expanded by 0.4% on a monthly basis in April and has risen 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. Spending for the month totaled $570.6 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis.

June 2014 Construction MMI

“Residential, private nonresidential and public construction spending all have areas of strength, but also pockets of weakness,” said Ken Simonson, the Associated General Contractors of America’s chief economist. “While the overall trend remains more positive than last year, growth is likely to be spotty for the foreseeable future.”

Data on hotel construction also came up positive. As of April 30, the aggregate number of rooms under construction for the hotel industry rose 42.6%, according to STR, a firm that analyzes hotel industry data. Included in that number are five convention center hotels in Austin, Texas, Spokane, Wash., Chicago, Houston and Cleveland, which are slated to begin operation by 2017.

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After falling 4.2 percent, Chinese rebar finished the month at $516.69 per metric ton. After rising the previous month, US shredded scrap prices dropped 2.8 percent to $385.00 per short ton. Weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge prices fell 2.7 percent to $0.53 per mile after rising the previous month. After rising the previous month, weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge prices dropped 1.7 percent to $0.55 per mile. Weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge prices fell 1.6 percent to $0.51 per mile after rising the previous month.

European 1050 aluminum gained 2.4 percent to finish the month at $2,915 per metric ton.

At a price of $155.17 per dry metric ton, the Chinese low price of 62% Australian iron ore fines did not budge the entire month. Prices for Chinese aluminum bar remained constant this past month, holding at around $2,272 per metric ton. The price of Chinese H-beam steel held steady around $516.69 per metric ton last month.

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.

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