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.
Prices for Structural Steel Post Modest Gains.
|Prices for structural steel post modest gains.|
Prices for structural steel posted a modest rebound in May, with ENR's 20-city average price for channel, wide-flange and I-beams inching up 0.5%. However, the average price for the three products is still 0.4% below a year ago. Prices are expected to decline during the second half of the year. The forecasting firm IHS Global Insight, based in Washington, D.C., predicts that prices for structural steel will drop 7.6% on average this year, compared to 2012. ENR's 20-city average price for grade-60 concrete reinforcing bar increased 0.7% this month, but price levels are still 4.7% below May 2012's level.
Lumber Prices Continue To Rebound With Housing.
|Lumber Prices Continue To Rebound With Housing.|
The latest U.S. Commerce Dept. data for March shows that residential construction is up 17.3% above the first quarter of last year. That increase in demand has helped to spark prices tied to the housing market. ENR's 20-city average price for 2 X 4 lumber in May was up 10.9% over a year ago for the most commonly used species of lumber. In February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for softwood lumber posted a 27% annual increase. In April, the average mill price for softwood lumber tracked by Random Lengths, Eugene, Ore., was up 44% from a year ago, its highest level since 2004.
ENR's pipe prices for May 2013.
|Pipe Prices Face Broad-Based Declines|
Prices for construction pipe products experienced across-the-board price cuts this month. The deepest monthly price drops were 2.0% for polyethylene (PE) underdrain pipe, 1.9% for ½-in. copper water tubing and 1.3% for 24-in. reinforced-concrete pipe. Prices for other diameter pipe in these categories—as well as prices for corrugated-steel pipe, vitrified-clay pipe, PVC water and sewer pipe and ductile-iron pipe—also declined this month. The monthly slide in RCP prices left ENR's 20-city average price between 3.4% and 5.3% below a year ago. PVC pipe prices are ranging between 2.4% and 6.1% lower than 2012.
Prices for Asphalt Paving Oil Jump 1.1%
|Prices for asphalt paving oil jump 1.1%.|
Highway construction through the first two months of this year was up 2.4% from 2012's level, according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce's construction put-in-place data for February. Combined with higher oil prices, that extra demand has helped to push ENR's price for PG-58 asphalt paving oil up 1.1% this month and 6.6% above a year ago. In February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' producer price index for diesel-fuel prices jumped 7.2% and was up 3.8% for the year. The PPI for ready-mix concrete in February was up 2.4% for the year, while ENR's 20-city average price for ready-mix concrete this month was up 2.8% 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.