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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.

Cement/Concrete/Aggregate

ENR's cost indexes for November 2014.

Construction Economics, Materials Trends, Cement, Concrete, AggregatesReady-mix concrete prices increased 0.3%.

Prices for ready-mix concrete increased an average of 0.3% this month, according to ENR's 20-city average price for 3,000-, 4,000- and 5,000-psi concrete. This increase follows modest declines during the previous month, leaving overall prices 3.7% above a year ago. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for ready-mix concrete dropped 0.5% in September, after several months of strong gains (see chart). The PPI for ready-mix concrete in September was 4.4% above 2013's level. ENR's prices for asphalt paving oil rose 1.6% this month and are now 5.2% above a year ago.

Steel

ENR's structural steel, rebar and plate prices for October 2014.

Construction Economics, Materials Trends, SteelStructural steel prices rise1.0% in October.

Structural-steel prices rose another 1% in October following last month's 0.8% increase, according to ENR's 20-city average price for channel, wide-flange and I-beams. The recent increase lifts the average price for structural steel 1.5% above October 2013's level. Last month, the average price for structural steel was down 0.1% for the year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for fabricated structural steel slipped 0.1% in September but is still 2.9% above a year ago. ENR's 20-city average price for grade-60 reinforcing bar increased 0.7% this month and is now 1.3% above a year ago.

Lumber/Drywall

ENR's lumber, plywood and wallboard prices for October 2014.

Construction Economics, Materials Trends, Lumber, DrywallENR's lumber prices jump 2.1% in October.

ENR's 20-city average price for 2x4 lumber jumped by 2.1% this month. Prices are now ranging between 7.9% and 6.8% above October 2013's level. The October increase follows a 1.5% price hike in September. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for softwood lumber products increased 2.4% during August, 9.6% above a year ago. ENR's gypsum-wallboard price rose another 0.4% this month, after increasing 0.3% in September. The combined monthly increases pushed ENR's price to 10.6% above a year ago. The August PPI for gypsum products was up 7.2% for the year.

Pipe

ENR pipe prices for October 2014.

Construction Economics, Materials Trends, PipeENR Revises PVC pipe prices.

ENR made some revisions to its PVC pipe prices in October, pushing up its monthly price gains for 4-in. sewer pipe by 1.5%, 6-in.-dia water pipe by 4.1% and 8-in.-dia pipe by 3.1%. The revisions came mostly for prices in the city of Baltimore. The revisions bring ENR's average price for five PVC pipe products to 1.1% above October 2013's level. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for PVC pipe in August showed an annual hike of 2.2%. ENR's price for 1½-in. copper water tubing fell 0.6% this month and is down 2% from 2013. The PPI for copper products in August fell 0.9% for the year.

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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