New South Supply | May 2017 Newsletter
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May 2017 Newsletter

May 2017 Newsletter

Despite the turmoil coming out of Washington the overall economy in general, and the construction economy in particular, continue to chug along. We’re now entering prime building season and all signals point to another great summer for construction. We’re extremely busy and hope that you are as well.

Dear Friends:

Despite the turmoil coming out of Washington the overall economy in general, and the construction economy in particular, continue to chug along. We’re now entering prime building season and all signals point to another great summer for construction. We’re extremely busy and hope that you are as well.

On the pricing front, the good news is that price increases have moderated versus the last several months. See below for a detailed look at pricing trends for the key products we distribute.

Price Updates
    • As in April, few of the manufacturers of the products we distribute increased prices or announced price increases in May. The price for scrap steel was unchanged on the Chicago Metal Exchange in May; however, the price moved up on foreign metal exchanges in May and most analysts expect the price to increase in June on US and foreign metal exchanges due to increased demand. Resin manufacturers were able to push through price increases in May for some types of resins, which will lead to higher prices for some of the items we distribute.


    • Both Raven Industries, Stego, and several other manufacturers increased prices on polyolefin under slab vapor barriers in May by approximately 7% due to their increased cost for resins. Other manufacturers are expected to increase prices by a like percentage by June 1st. Resin manufacturers have announced another price increase for June and if they are successful, expect polyolefin vapor barrier manufacturers to increase prices again in July.


    • Polyethylene resin manufacturers were unable to push through a price increase in May, therefore; polyethylene sheeting manufacturers did not increase prices in May. Polyethylene resin manufacturers will attempt to increase their price by $.05/LB in June and if they are successful, expect polyethylene sheeting manufacturers to increase prices by early July.


    • Domestic rebar prices were unchanged in May and so as the price of scrap steel was unchanged in May, domestic mills have indicated they will make no price changes for June orders. If the price of scrap steel does move up in June as many analysts predict, domestic rebar mills will in all likelihood increase prices for July orders.


    • Imported rebar prices were unchanged in May and June offerings were unchanged as well, but offerings for July/August delivery increased by around 3% due to scrap steel posting up on foreign metal exchanges in May. Most Turkish mills will not quote US brokers now as they wait for the final ruling from the International Trade Commission on anti-dumping duties scheduled for July 6th. If the tariffs are between 6 and 9% as expected, offerings from Turkish mills for July/August delivery will increase by a like percentage or more as the price for scrap steel is expected to increase in June.


    • The producer price index (PPI) for final demand in April, not seasonally adjusted, increased 0.4% from March and 2.5% year-over-year (y/y) from April 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on May 11. AGC posted tables and an explanation focusing on construction prices and costs.


Click here for the latest update on the construction economy from Ken Simonson, the chief economist of the AGC.

Featured Manufacturers


A Leader in Concrete Cutting Tools and Accessories



Heckmann Building Products

Anchoring Solutions and Masonry Wall Reinforcement


Hohmann & Barnard

A Leading Developer and Distributor of Masonry Reinforcement, Flashing, Anchors, and Air Barrier Systems

Associate Profile

Rick Calhoun


Our associate profile this month is of Rick Calhoun, a CDL driver at our branch in Hardeeville, SC. Rick was born in Caro, Michigan and graduated from high school there. He also earned 120 credit hours at Colorado Technical University. Rick retired from the Army in 1996 and then was Operations Manager for RCI, a coatings company, from 1997-2001. Fun fact: Rick also was formerly the bodyguard for the CEO of the former Wachovia Bank which is now part of Wells Fargo. He also was a Nordstrom shoe division manager from 2004-2012 and was a store manager for Jos A Bank from 2012-2014 and then ran the shoe division of a Belk’s department store from 2014-2016. Rick joined us in 2016 and quickly became a strong asset to our Hardeeville branch. Rick and his wife have three children and six grandchildren and in his spare time he enjoys playing golf.

Our management article this month is titled, “A Better Way to Handle an Argument”. Office arguments can quickly escalate and get out of control and I think you will find this article has some great tips on avoiding that.




A Better Way to Handle an Argument
By Marlene Chism

The biggest time-waster at work is arguing with colleagues or employees. I call these conversations verbal ping pong. There is a back and forth between two people who want to win and who keep coming back for a rematch. It goes something like this:

  • “Yes I did.”
  • “No you didn’t. “
  • “You are completely wrong.”
  • “You are so closed minded.”
  • “I’ll prove it.”
  • “You don’t have the facts to prove it. It’s just your opinion.”
  • “You never listen to me.”
  • “Now that’s the pot calling the kettle black.”


Effective leaders do not waste time playing ping pong. If you want to save time, and increase your effectiveness here are three steps to breaking the ping pong habit.

  1. Listen first
  2. Give up the need to prove a point
  3. Stop trying to fix others.


Listen first

Listening is the last thing you want to do when you are certain you are right. It’s more tempting to argue when you disagree. The illusion is that after the other person hears your logic, he or she will somehow come around.

If you want to persuade the other person, you have to be disciplined enough to listen before stating your case. Until people feel heard, they won’t be persuaded by your logic. Instead, they will feel compelled to show you that you are wrong.

Listening does not equal agreement, but effective listening assures you truly understand the other person’s mindset so that you can collaborate, persuade, or discipline, whatever the situation calls for. It takes two to play games. Don’t hit the ball back. Leaders who argue create more resistance. Leaders who listen control the conversation.

Give up the need to prove a point

Even if you are right, you have to give up the need to be right. When you notice yourself playing ping pong, take a breath. Chances are you are arguing about something that really doesn’t matter. If so, just agree to disagree and move on. If the conversation does matter, create some space to gain some control. Count silently to three or to 10. Shift your focus from winning an argument to understanding. While it may be excruciating at first, you will get the hang of it and actually enjoy the power you have over yourself. Notice the other person’s demeanor change after he or she feels understood.

Stop trying to fix others

One reason many of us play verbal ping pong is that we want to fix the other person. In other words, we want someone to change, but we encounter resistance. We see this resistance to doing what is in the person’s best interests, then we “take on” the issues, trying to convince the person to take our advice. If this is your colleague, remember that the other person has choices. You cannot change someone’s mindset, ideas or actions. If you are the leader, by all means make the other person understand the potential consequences of ignoring good council. You can coach others, you can discipline them, but you cannot fix them.


If you want to save time and increase leadership effectiveness, make a decision to stop playing verbal ping pong. Examine how often you try to be right or fix others. How much time do you spend listening versus proving a point? What is your mental and emotional state after a vigorous argument where nothing got resolved? Does your language support a responsible culture? How does your behavior affect productivity and efficiency?

That’s it for this month. Best wishes for a great summer building season and, as always, never hesitate to let me know how we can do a better job of serving your company.

Best regards,

Jim Sobeck
President 864-263-4377
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Author of The Real Business 101: Lessons From the Trenches
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