Construction MMI®: US Home Starts Fall Off in January, Shredded Scrap Down 6%

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US homebuilders slowed the pace of construction in January, breaking ground on fewer single-family houses ahead of the spring buying season.

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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.

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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.

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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