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 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.
ENR's asphalt, cement and concrete prices for April 2015.
|Revision drives down ENR's cement prices.|
ENR's 20-city average price for portland cement dropped 1.7% this month, due mostly to a revision in the Baltimore price, which fell 33%, to $120 a ton, from $180. ENR's national average price for cement is $115 a ton. This revision reduced the annual escalation of ENR's cement prices to 1.5%, down from 5.2% the previous month. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for cement shows a more robust gain, with the February 2015 index up 9.4% from a year ago. That index is still riding a 3.9% increase in April 2014, combined with a 3.4% increase in January 2015.
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.