Construction MMI®: California High-Speed Rail Project Underway, Banks Lending More

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A consortium made up of Tutor Perini, Zachry and Parsons is in charge of designing California’s high-speed rail. Crews in the Madera, Calif., area are building a sensor-equipped rebar cage that will be dropped into a deep hole and then filled with concrete to allow engineers to test the load capacity. Also underway is demolition work on some Fresno buildings as part of the pre-construction activity, according to the Fresno Bee.

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A study released May 28 by three economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that consumer non-mortgage debt has grown for three successive quarters, the first time this has happened since the onset of the Great Recession.

More borrowing means more spending, which is unequivocally good for economic growth in the short run, but is the rise in non-mortgage debt a potential worrisome sign that banks are returning to their profligate ways, the Wall Street Journal asks?

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Construction MMI® was the weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge, which saw a 1.7 percent increase to $0.52 per short ton. This comes on the heels of a 0.5 percent decline the week prior. The weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge rose 1.5 percent to $0.53 per mile after falling 1.5 percent during the previous week. The weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge rose 0.8 percent to $0.54 per mile after falling 1.6 percent during the previous week.

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The price of Chinese rebar fell 0.3 percent to CNY 3,180 ($510.77) per metric ton after rising 0.3 percent the week before. The price of US shredded scrap rose 0.3 percent to $370.00 per short ton after falling 0.5 percent during the previous week. The Chinese low price of 62% Australian iron ore fines stayed essentially flat at CNY 970.00 ($155.80) per dry metric ton. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese H-beam steel closed flat at CNY 3,230 ($518.80) per metric ton.

Chinese aluminum bar traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 14,200 ($2,281) per metric ton. At EUR 2,139 ($2,922) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for European 1050 aluminum.

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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