Construction MMI®: Home Building Up in December, Best Year Since 2005

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Construction of new homes rebounded in December, helping to push activity for the entire year to the highest level since the peak of the housing boom nine years ago.

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The Commerce Department says builders started construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million in December, an increase of 4.4% from November, when unusually severe weather pushed activity down 4.5%.

For all of 2014, builders started construction on 1.01 million new homes and apartments, an increase of 8.8%  from 2013. It was the first time construction has topped 1 million since 2005, the height of the housing boom, when builders started work on 2.07 million homes.

The biggest mover this week was Chinese rebar with a 4.6% fall on the weekly Construction MMI® to close the week at CNY 2,670 ($429.44) per metric ton. At $338.00 per short ton, the price of US shredded scrap finished the week 0.6% higher. Following a steady week, prices for the Chinese low price of 62% Australian iron ore fines closed flat at CNY 970.00 ($156.01) per dry metric ton. At CNY 2,780 ($447.13) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for Chinese H-beam steel.

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Prices for Chinese aluminum bar remained constant, closing the week at CNY 12,790 ($2,057) per metric ton. Closing at EUR 2,499 ($2,898) per metric ton, European 1050 aluminum remained unchanged for the week.

The weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge closed at $0.35 per mile after a flat week. The weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge traded sideways last week, hovering around $0.36 per mile. Closing at $0.36 per mile, the weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge remained unchanged for the week.

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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