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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

ENR's steel and metal prices for January 2015.

Construction Economics, Materials Trends, SteelStructural steel prices slipped in January.

ENR's 20-city average price for structural-steel shapes fell 0.4% in January, wiping out last December's 0.3% gain. That left ENR's average price for wide-flange, channel and I-beams 1.9% above a year ago. ENR's monthly prices for reinforcing bar, steel plate, aluminum sheet and stainless-steel plate all declined in January. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for copper products declined 1.3% in December. That was the ninth monthly price cut in the last year and left the PPI for copper products 4.4% below a year ago. ENR's price for copper water tubing is down 5.8% for the year.

Lumber/Drywall

ENR's lumber, plywood and wallboard prices for January 2015.

Construction Economics, Materials Trends, Lumber, DrywallENR's lumber prices decline in January.

ENR's 20-city average price for the most commonly used species of 2x4s fell 1.2% in January as lumber, plywood and particleboard prices all showed weakness. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' November producer index for lumber held steady, following October's upward revision. ENR's gypsum-wallboard prices jumped 2.9% in January, primarily due to revisions to prices for Baltimore and Cincinnati. The revisions left ENR's price 13.1% above a year ago. The producer price index for gypsum products increased 0.5% in November, posting an annual increase of 10.4%.

Pipe

ENR's pipe prices for January 2015.

Construction Economics, Materials Trends, PipePVC pipe prices increase in January.

PVC sewer and water pipe prices increased between 0.3% and 0.6% this month, according to ENR's 20-city average price for five PVC pipe products. It was the fourth consecutive monthly price increase tracked by ENR. On a year-to-year basis ENR's prices show a wide spread from a 3% decline for 12-in.-dia PVC water pipe to a 5.7% gain for 6-in. PVC water pipe. The Bureau of Labor Statistics producer price index last November for plastic construction products, which is mostly PVC pipe, declined 0.1% for the month, but is 2.4% above November 2013's level.

Cement/Concrete/Aggregate

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

Construction Economics, Materials Trends, Cement, Concrete, AggregatesCement prices rebound 0.5% this month.

Cement prices bounced back 0.5% this month, wiping out last month's 0.3% decline, according to ENR's 20-city average price for type-one portland cement. The rebound helped to keep prices 5.7% above a year ago. The Bureau of Labor Statistics producer price index for cement held steady in November. However, the PPI for cement is still coasting on October's 1.1% increase and last April's 3.9% jump. The November PPI for cement was 6.6% above a year ago. ENR's 20-city average price for asphalt paving oil fell for the third consecutive month and is now 4% above January 2014'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.

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