Construction MMI®: Supply Services Index, Capital Goods Fall in December

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Source: Jeff Yoders/MetalMiner

The Institute for Supply Management said on Tuesday its services index fell to 56.2 last month, the lowest reading since June, from 59.3 in November, which had left it just shy of revisiting its post-recession highs.

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It was held back as growth across all categories moderated, with some respondents saying a labor dispute at West Coast ports was causing delays, which required the rerouting of goods to ports on the East Coast. Wall Street had expected the index to only decline to 58 in December.

The Commerce Dept. revised down November orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft – seen as a measure of business confidence and spending plans – to show a 0.5 percent decline instead of being flat as it reported last month.

All of these numbers affect construction, particularly home building, as its recovery has been unexpectedly weak in the last month’s of 2014.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Construction MMI® was the weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge, which saw a 5.2% decline to $0.38 per short ton. Last week marked the fourth in a row of declining prices for the metal. The weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge dropped 4.9% this week, closing out the third consecutive week of falling prices at $0.39 per mile. The weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge fell 4.0% over the past week to $0.37 per mile. This was the third week in a row of declining prices.

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The price of Chinese rebar rose 0.7% to CNY 2,830 ($454.92) per metric ton after falling 1.7% during the previous week. Following a steady week, prices for the Chinese low price of 62% Australian iron ore fines closed flat at CNY 970.00 ($155.93) per dry metric ton. US shredded scrap prices held steady from the previous week at $334.00 per short ton. Chinese H-beam steel traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 2,780 ($446.88) per metric ton.

Closing out the third week of declining prices, the price of Chinese aluminum bar dropped by 1.4%, finishing at CNY 12,820 ($2,061) per metric ton. Prices for European 1050 aluminum remained constant, closing the week at EUR 2,499 ($3,021) per metric ton.

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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