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.
Pipe Prices Continue To Rebound
|Pipe prices continue to rebound.|
Prices for construction pipe products followed February's rebound with another round of price increases in March. The average price for four types of reinforced concrete tracked by ENR rose 0.7% this month. Sewer and water PVC pipe also posted an average monthly increase of 0.7%. However, both RCP and PVC pipe prices remain below 2013's level, according to ENR's 20-city average price. Ductile-iron pipe prices continue to show the strongest gains among the pipe products tracked by ENR: DIP prices jumped about 2.6% this month, due in part to an upward revision in prices for three cities. DIP prices are averaging 6.6% higher than in 2013.
Cement Prices Continue Early 'Spring' Rebound
|Cement prices continue early 'spring' rebound.|
Cement prices jumped another 1.7% this month following last month's 0.7% increase. The back-to-back monthly increases pushed ENR's 20-city average price for portland cement 2.7% above a year ago. The November 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for cement showed an annual increase of 4.8% as cement prices continue to rebound on the strength of the housing market. Prices for ready-mix concrete also rose this month, with ENR's 20-city average price for three types of concrete increasing 0.6% this month, following an average gain of 0.8% the previous month.
Structural Steel Prices Drop 0.2% in February.
|Structural steel prices drop 0.2% in February.|
Prices for structural-steel shapes slipped 0.2% in February, keeping prices level with a year ago, according to ENR's 20-city average price for channel, wide-flange and I-beams. Prices for wide-flange beams are down 0.3% from a year ago, while prices for channel beams posted a modest 0.2% year-to-year increase over February 2013. Prices for grade-60 reinforced-concrete bars held steady this month but are down 1.0% from a year ago. Prices for stainless-steel plate increased between 0.2% and 0.9% this month,building on January's rebound. However, stainless-plate prices are still about 0.5% below 2013's level.
Lumber Prices Regain Footing After Slipping in January
|Lumber prices regain footing after slipping.|
Lumber prices rebounded 0.7% in February after falling 0.5% between last December and January, according to ENR's 20-city average price for 2x4s. The rebound continued the strong increases recorded during the second half of last year (see chart below). Prices are now ranging between 1.6% and 2.8% higher than February 2012 for the three types of 2x4s tracked by ENR. Mill prices for softwood framing lumber rebounded 3.4% in January, according to the composite price index compiled by Random Lengths, Eugene, Ore. That uptick offset a 3.3% dip last December. The index is 1.3% above January 2013's level.
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.