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Materials Trends

Prices are updated monthly by ENR's price reporters who call a single source for each product in 20 U.S. cities. The price represents that paid by a contractor for a specified large order. Monthly prices appear on the weekly rotating cycle.


ENR's asphalt, cement and concrete prices for May 2015.

Construction Economics, Materials Trends, Cement, Concrete, AggregatesRevision drives down ENR's cement prices.

ENR's 20-city average price for portland cement fell 2.0% this month, following April's 1.7% drop. This May's decline, combined with a 0.8% increase during the same month of last year, helped to drop the annual escalation rate to 0.5% from 1.5% the previous month. The Bureau of Labor Statistics producer price index for cement (right) rose 0.2% in March, after holding steady in February. However the PPI for cement is still riding increases from earlier last year, leaving the index 9.6% above March 2014's level. The PPI for ready-mix concrete was up 4.2% year over year.


ENR's steel and metal prices for April 2015.

Construction Economics, Materials Trends, SteelSteel prices continue to weaken.

Steel prices continue to weaken, according to Platts McGraw Hill Financial. Platts' spot market price for reinforcing bar fell another 1.7% in March, following a 3.7% decline during the previous month. Likewise, prices for steel plate declined 6.1% in March, after dropping 8.3% in February. Prices for hot-rolled coil-steel products also were down 7.4% in March, following February's 9.0% decline, according to Platts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for fabricated steel products in March was up 1.3% for the year, but the PPI for copper products was down 7.2% for the year.


ENR's lumber, plywood, panel prices for April 2015.

Construction Economics, Materials Trends, Lumber, DrywallENR's plywoo prices declined 1.2% in April.

Plywood prices fell 1.2% in April, following a 1.0% decline in March, according to ENR's 20-city average price. The back-to-back monthly declines left prices 1.4% above a year ago. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for plywood fell 2.5% in February, after falling 1.0% during the previous two months. The PPI for plywood in February was 4.9% above a year ago. ENR's 20-city average prices for 2x4 lumber fell 0.2% in April and now are averaging between 5% and 7% above a year ago. The PPI for lumber declined 1.6% in February, pulling the index 4.5% below a year ago.


ENR's pipe prices for April 2015.

Construction Economics, Materials Trends, PipePVC pipe prices slip 0.6% in April.

ENR's 20-city average price for PVC water-pipe products slipped 0.6% this month, while prices for PVC sewer pipe held steady. The average year-to-year price changes show a wide range, from a minus 4.7% for 12-in.-dia water pipe to a plus 4.1% for 6-in.-dia pipe. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for plastic construction products, which is mostly pipe, was up 1.1% for the year, according to the February index. Most of the gain came from a 1.0% rebound in February's index, which offset a 1.0% decline the previous December. ENR's concrete pipe prices were more robust, increasing 1.4% in April.

Materials Price Index

The Materials Cost Index is the materials component of ENR’s building and construction cost indexes. It tracks the weighted price movement of structural steel, portland cement and 2 X 4 lumber.

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