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.
ENR's asphalt, cement and concrete prices for May 2015.
|Revision drives down ENR's cement prices.|
ENR's 20-city average price for portland cement fell 2.0% this month, following April's 1.7% drop. This May's decline, combined with a 0.8% increase during the same month of last year, helped to drop the annual escalation rate to 0.5% from 1.5% the previous month. The Bureau of Labor Statistics producer price index for cement (right) rose 0.2% in March, after holding steady in February. However the PPI for cement is still riding increases from earlier last year, leaving the index 9.6% above March 2014's level. The PPI for ready-mix concrete was up 4.2% year over year.
ENR's steel and metal prices for April 2015.
|Steel prices continue to weaken.|
Steel prices continue to weaken, according to Platts McGraw Hill Financial. Platts' spot market price for reinforcing bar fell another 1.7% in March, following a 3.7% decline during the previous month. Likewise, prices for steel plate declined 6.1% in March, after dropping 8.3% in February. Prices for hot-rolled coil-steel products also were down 7.4% in March, following February's 9.0% decline, according to Platts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for fabricated steel products in March was up 1.3% for the year, but the PPI for copper products was down 7.2% for the year.
ENR's lumber, plywood, panel prices for April 2015.
|ENR's plywoo prices declined 1.2% in April.|
Plywood prices fell 1.2% in April, following a 1.0% decline in March, according to ENR's 20-city average price. The back-to-back monthly declines left prices 1.4% above a year ago. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for plywood fell 2.5% in February, after falling 1.0% during the previous two months. The PPI for plywood in February was 4.9% above a year ago. ENR's 20-city average prices for 2x4 lumber fell 0.2% in April and now are averaging between 5% and 7% above a year ago. The PPI for lumber declined 1.6% in February, pulling the index 4.5% below a year ago.
ENR's pipe prices for April 2015.
|PVC pipe prices slip 0.6% in April.|
ENR's 20-city average price for PVC water-pipe products slipped 0.6% this month, while prices for PVC sewer pipe held steady. The average year-to-year price changes show a wide range, from a minus 4.7% for 12-in.-dia water pipe to a plus 4.1% for 6-in.-dia pipe. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for plastic construction products, which is mostly pipe, was up 1.1% for the year, according to the February index. Most of the gain came from a 1.0% rebound in February's index, which offset a 1.0% decline the previous December. ENR's concrete pipe prices were more robust, increasing 1.4% in April.
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.