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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.

Steel

Structural steel prices increase 0.8% in September.

Construction Economics, Materials Trends, SteelStructural steel prices rise 0.8% in September.

Structural-steel prices increased 0.8% in September, following last month's 0.1% rise, according to ENR's 20-city average price for wide-flange, channel and I-beams. The back-to-back monthly hikes have brought prices back to last year's levels. Copper prices are also returning to 2013's level. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for copper fell 0.6% in August, following July's 3.1% increase. The PPI for copper is now just 0.9% below August 2013's level. ENR's 20-city average price in September for 0.5-in. and 1.5-in. copper water tubing is still 3.6% below a year ago.

Lumber/Drywall

ENR's 20-city average gypsum wallboard price is 9.6% above a year ago.

Construction Economics, Materials Trends, Lumber, DrywallGypsum wallboard price increase 0.3% in September.

Gypsum wallboard prices rose another 0.3% in September, according to ENR's 20-city average price for 1/2-in. panel. The monthly jump follows an upward revision in prices for four cities, which has left the U.S. average price 9.6% above September 2013's level. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for gypsum products slipped 0.4% in July; however, the index is still being powered by an 8.3% increase last January, keeping the PPI 8.2% above July 2013's level. ENR's 20-city average lumber price increased 1.5% this month, for the most commonly used species of 2x4s, which are now up 5.8% for the year.

Pipe

ENR's reinforced concrete pipe prices rose 0.6% in September.

Construction Economics, Materials Trends, PipeENR's RCP prices increase in September.

ENR's 20-city average pipe prices for reinforced concrete pipe rose 0.6% in September, pushing prices 4.2% above a year ago. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for concrete pipe in July held steady, following four months of strong increases, which left the index 3.5% above July 2013's level. However, this was down from the 4.5% annual rate of increase for the index posted during June. ENR's 20-city average price for PVC water and sewer pipe all declined this month, leaving prices between 0.2% and 4.9% below a year ago. Copper water tubing prices also declined this month.

Cement/Concrete/Aggregate

Asphalt paving oil prices rose 1.0% for the month.

Construction Economics, Materials Trends, Cement, Concrete, AggregatesAsphalt paving oil prices rose 1.0% for the month.

Prices for asphalt jumped 1.0% this month, following last month's 2.5% increase, according to ENR's 20-city average price for PG-58 paving oil. The back-to-back monthly price hikes lifted ENR's average price 2.9% above a year ago. In June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for asphalt paving products was up 0.2% for the month, following a 1.4% increase in May. Those increases combined to push the PPI for asphalt products 2.3% above June 2013's level. ENR's 20-city average price for portland cement also rose 1.0% this month and is 4.6% above a year ago.

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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