Construction MMI®: Construction Spending Climbs, Aluminum Prices Up

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US construction spending rebounded strongly to hit its highest level in more than 5-1/2 years in July as private construction increased and state and local government outlays surged, in a further sign of vigor in the economy.

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Construction spending increased 1.8 percent to an annual rate of $981.31 billion, the highest level since December 2008, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday.

July’s percentage increase was the largest since May 2012 and reflected gains across all categories, with the exception of federal government. It followed June’s revised 0.9 percent decline.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending increasing 1.0 percent after a previously reported 1.8 percent drop in June.

European 1050 aluminum saw the largest upwards shift on the weekly Construction MMI®, rising 9.4 percent to settle at EUR 2,489 ($3,282) per metric ton. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese aluminum bar closed flat at CNY 14,200 ($2,312) per metric ton.

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US shredded scrap saw its price rise 0.3 percent over the past week to $381.00 per short ton. Closing at CNY 970.00 ($157.93) per dry metric ton, the Chinese low price of 62% Australian iron ore fines remained unchanged for the week. Chinese H-beam steel traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 3,230 ($525.90) per metric ton. Closing at CNY 3,220 ($524.27) per metric ton, Chinese rebar remained unchanged for the week.

The weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge fell 0.5 percent over the past week to $0.50 per mile. This was the fourth week in a row of declining prices. The weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge fell 0.4 percent over the past week to $0.51 per mile. This was the fourth week in a row of declining prices. Following a 0.2 percent increase in the week prior, the weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge fell 0.3 percent last week to $0.53 per mile.

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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