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.
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.
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.