US homebuilders slowed the pace of construction in January, breaking ground on fewer single-family houses ahead of the spring buying season.
Housing starts slipped 2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.07 million last month, down from 1.09 million in December, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.
Leading that decline was a sharp 6.7% monthly drop in starts for single-family houses. Still, a healing economy has caused building activity to move at a faster clip, with single-family starts climbing 18.7% over the past 12 months.
The price of US shredded scrap dropped 6.1% this week, closing out the third consecutive week of falling prices at $247.00 per short ton. Chinese H-beam steel traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 2,290 ($366.34) per metric ton. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese rebar closed flat at CNY 2,480 ($396.73) per metric ton.
The price of Chinese aluminum bar fell 0.8% to CNY 13,700 ($2,192) per metric ton after rising 6.9% the week before. Prices for European 1050 aluminum remained constant, closing the week at EUR 2,617 ($2,962) per metric ton.
The weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge shifted up 1.5% to close at $0.32 per milView Poste this week. The weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge rose 1.4% to $0.31 per mile after falling 0.5% during the previous week. The weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge fell 0.4% over the past week to $0.31 per mile. This was the fourth week in a row of declining prices.
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