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.
Structural steel prices hold steady in July.
|Structural steel prices held steady in July.|
Structural-steel prices held steady in July, according to ENR's 20-city average price for wide-flange, channel and I-beams. The average price for the three products is 1.2% below a year ago. The largest year-to-year price drop was 1.8% for channel beams, followed by declines of 1.0% for wide-flange beams and 0.8% for I-beams. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for structural metal products fell 0.2% in June, following May's 0.3% decline. The back-to-back monthly cuts kept prices just 0.8% above June 2013's level. ENR's 20-city average price for rebar is down 1.1% for the year.
Lumber prices are starting to rebound after sluggish first half of the year.
|Lumber prices starting to rebound.|
Lumber prices are starting to rebound after a sluggish first half of the year. ENR's 20-city average price for the most commonly used species of 2x4s jumped 1.1% this month and are 5.3% above July 2013's level. ENR's average price for 2x4 pine is up 9.3% for the year, while 2x4 fir prices posted a 2.9% annual gain. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for softwood lumber rebounded 1% in May, checking April's 4.0% decline. The index is now just 0.2% above a year ago. Mill prices for western spf tracked by Crow's Publications increased 3.6% in July and are now 18% above a year ago.
ENR's prices for PVC water pipe post strong gains.
|PVC pipe prices post strong gains in July|
ENR's prices for PVC water pipe posted strong increases in July, with an average monthly price hike of 1.4%. This uptick helped to reverse steep price cuts during the previous three months. Despite July's gains, prices for PVC water pipe are still averaging 2.5% below a year ago, according to ENR. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for plastic construction products, which is mostly PVC pipe, declined 0.7% in May, after four months of increases. That dropped the annual increase for the PPI to 1.5% from 2.0% in April. In July, ENR's prices for PVC sewer pipe fell 0.2% and are 1% below a year ago.
Prices for asphalt paving oi slipped 0.1% this month.
|Asphalt paving oil prices decline this month.|
Prices for asphalt paving oil slipped 0.1% this month, according to ENR's 20-city average prices for PG-58 paving oil. That marked the third consecutive monthly price decline, leaving ENR's price just 0.5% above a year ago. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for asphalt paving mixtures rebounded 1.4% in May after falling 1.2% the previous month. The volatile swings left the May PPI for asphalt products 1.8% above a year ago. The producer price index for cement rose 0.6% in May, after jumping 3.1% in April, raising annual escalation to 5.7%, which is up from 3.1% in January.
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.