August 2017 Newsletter

August 2017 Newsletter

Believe it or not, summer is winding down already and children are back in school in most parts of the South. The stock market is setting records daily despite President Trump’s less than favorable press coverage. Many pundits are still bullish that he can get tax reform passed by Congress later this year. I, for one, sure hope so.

Dear Friends,

Believe it or not, summer is winding down already and children are back in school in most parts of the South. The stock market is setting records daily despite President Trump’s less than favorable press coverage. Many pundits are still bullish that he can get tax reform passed by Congress later this year. I, for one, sure hope so.

The continuing growth in construction, as we all as the imposition of some tariffs, has caused prices on many of the products we sell to increase lately. See below for an in-depth look at pricing trends.

Price Updates

The price for scrap steel moved up by a modest $10/ton on the Chicago Metals Exchange and other metal exchanges in the US in August, however; the price for scrap steel on foreign metal exchanges increased by as much as $30/ton. Worldwide prices for iron ore increased by double digits recently and further increases are predicted. China closed many of their steel and metal alloy mills this year due to their high pollution emissions. Most mills in China are now operating at full capacity and demand is exceeding supply. There is limited availability of nickel and stainless steel from China and we are already seeing the effects of China’s lesser capacity to produce steel and metal alloys in the US.

Domestic rebar mills did not wait until after the price for scrap steel posted in August to increase prices, as many analysts predicted in July. CMC announced a price increase of $25/ton at 5:00 PM EDST July 31st that was effective August 1st. Nucor, Gerdau, and other domestic mills in the Southeast quickly followed CMC’s lead and increased prices by $25/ton on August 2nd. Domestic mills announced a second $25/ton price increase effective August 21st on Friday evening August 18th. The price for domestic scrap steel is expected to rise by $20 to $25/ton in early September. If it does, expect domestic mills to increase prices again in mid-September. If you have any projects that require rebar we strongly advise you to buy out these projects as soon as possible to avoid paying higher prices in the future.

There is little availabity of imported rebar in the Southeast from steel brokers now with only a few trucks at ports in south Florida and a few in Jacksonville. Brokers increased prices for these trucks and current cost is within a few percentage points of domestic. Brokers do own several thousand tons at ports in the Northeast, but additional freight cost to ship truckloads to the Southeast makes the landed cost nearly as expensive as domestic.

Prices for wire rod from China have spiked and further increases are expected. Many other foreign and domestic mills either increased prices in August or have announced price increases for September. With their cost for wire rod skyrocketing, concrete reinforcing wire mesh mills and masonry reinforcing and tie manufactures have indicated they will increase prices in September. As with rebar, we advise you to buy out any projects that require concrete reinforcing wire mesh or masonry reinforcing and ties as soon as possible.

For the second consecutive month resin manufacturers did not increase prices in August and none have announced a price increase for September. Unless resin manufacturers do try to increase prices in September prices for polyethylene, polyolefin vapor barrier, and other construction products made from resins should be unchanged in September.

Mar-Mac Manufacturing announced on August 4th a price increase effective August 28thon their Contractor Building Products line of products (imported steel). These items include Tie Wire (5%), Anchor Bolts (5%), Round Dowels (10%), Nail Stakes (10%), Rebar Chairs (5%), Sod Staples (10%), T-Posts (5%), and Bar Ties (5%).

Ames Tru Temper, the leading manufacturer of long and short handled hand tools in the US announced a 2% price increase effective October 1st. Several other competitors also announced they will increase prices in October.

Wholesalers and brokers of imported steel concrete accessories have been raising their prices recently and have indicated we should expect further price increases in the coming weeks. If you use tie wire, bar supports, rod chairs, anchor bolts, mudsill anchors, nails, etc. on your projects, please consider buying heavily soon as prices will continue to rise.

As stainless steel prices have increased dramatically, manufacturers of construction products made from stainless steel such as, flashings, drip edge, termination bar, and masonry ties will increase prices in the coming weeks. Please be sure you get a current quote from your New South sales representative if you are bidding projects that specify stainless steel products.

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

Featured Manufacturers


Maker of chemicals and aggregates for the concrete industry



Producer of construction films – poly, vapor barriers, and liners



Quality construction chemicals for the concrete industry

Associate Profile

Chris Slaughter

Our Associate profile this month is of Chris Slaughter, a warehouse associate/rebar fabricator in our Garner (Raleigh) branch. Chris is a native of Four Oaks, NC and he graduated from South Johnston High School. He continued his studies at Johnston Community College and is also a certified EMT in North Carolina. He and his wife, Lindsey have two daughters, Sophia (6) and Sawyer (2). His hobbies include hunting, fishing, and “stretching the culinary boundaries of wild game”. Prior to joining us Chris worked at Prestage Farms, Johnston Ambulance Service, and Lowe’s Home Improvement. Chris definitely has a “Can Do” attitude and he’s been a great addition to our Garner team.

On a different note, we’ve been updating our social media and YouTube more frequently, with information that may be useful to many of our customers and partners. Check out this recent video where representatives from Makita and Husqvarna explain the use of their tools and capturing solutions to avoid OSHA fines for silica dust violations. These rules go into effect September 23, so this could be worth a look for your business.

Our management article this month is titled, You Have to Want to Be a Better Leader. Leadership is critical to any organization. I think you will like this article.




Determine if Your Employee is Ready to Be a Manager With these Seven Tips

By Anna Ranieri

Just because an employee is good at their job, doesn’t necessarily mean they will be a good manager. It requires a different set of skills to be a successful leader compared to an individual contributor. Here are seven tips to help determine if an employee is capable of taking the next step.

  1. Gauge interest
    A good starting point, according to Anna Ranieri, executive coach and author of the forthcoming Connecting the Dots: Telling the Story to Advance Your Career, is to determine whether your ambitious direct report is, in fact, “interested in,” and, “geared toward management,” and not just “going through the motions, and thinking that he or she been at the organization a certain number of years so it’s time for a promotion.”

  2. Assess Experience
    Linda Hill, professor at Harvard Business School recommends finding out if the employee has had other management experience. She also suggests asking, “How do you spend your time outside of work? Perhaps this person volunteers and recently ran a campaign for a nonprofit. That shows she likes to mobilize others and lead.”

  3. Test organizational know-how
    Once you have a sense of the aspiring manager’s interest level and past experience, you need to get a handle on their “understanding of the organization—its culture, its needs, and where she thinks it’s going,” says Ranieri. Make sure they understand the big picture of the company and think systematically.

  4. Seek other opinions
    Ranieri also suggests discussing the prospective manager’s potential with other colleagues and fellow team leaders. Getting a sense of what fellow employees think of the candidate will give you a better sense of how they might act as manager.

  5. Observe
    It’s also important to observe your ambitious report in action. Think about your impressions of this person. Are they curious? Do they like to learn? When they’re faced setbacks, are they resilient?

  6. Heed red flags
    If the candidates are not open to feedback, rarely consider other people’s points of view, or don’t exhibit professional courage, they might not be right fit.

  7. Have faith
    The thing is, “no one is going to score a perfect 10,” says Hill. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re “measuring a person’s potential” and determining whether someone is ready to be a boss isn’t a perfect science. Ranieri points out that it’s also helpful to remember your own experience. “Think back to when you took on your first managerial role or your first big project,” she says. “Maybe you weren’t sure you could do it. But someone took a leap of faith on you. Even if you weren’t 100% successful the first time, you eventually got there.”

In closing, thank you for your continued support. Never hesitate to let me know how we can serve you better.

Best regards,

Jim Sobeck
President 864-263-4377
Connect with us: Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | LinkedIn

Author of The Real Business 101: Lessons From the Trenches
Get your copy below.
For Smashwords (eBook version for Kindle, iPad, Nook) click here
For direct link to Amazon site (Kindle and print version) click here

No Comments

Post A Comment

five × 3 =