As I compose this letter in late July the rains have largely been holding off and business has picked up for most of us. Despite this there have been only a few price increases from our main manufacturers. See below for details:
The end of June and the beginning of July have really seen an increase in activity. Job starts and overall construction activity are starting to reach the anticipated summer levels. Better late than never. We should see a busy remainder of the year while contractors try to get back on schedule wherever possible.
Rebar pricing remained flat yet again through the last half of June and into July. Scrap metal pricing moved up and down a few times but rallied late to settle right back where it began the month. Consistency is currently being viewed as a positive and most are hoping this will cause the market to firm up a bit. Some mills have announced increases on other steel prices they produce, but rebar pricing has remained out of the limelight.
Domestic reinforcement wire mesh has continued to stay soft. Ample production and high levels of stock at the mills have contributed to this softening. Lead times are still shorter than in previous years, with the main issue affecting lead time being available trucks to deliver material. As mentioned last month, it continues to be a very good time to purchase wire mesh. With the overall pick up in construction, these soft numbers may not stay around all summer.
After last month’s curtailment by a few large lumber mills, there have been a few price changes in the lumber market. The severity of price increase has mainly been dependent on the species. SPF has seen the largest impact. SPF pricing jumped with the high volume of orders coming in from customers trying to grab available inventory, but once those orders were fulfilled, the demand dropped again. SYP saw a slight impact, but nothing like spike we saw earlier this year. SYP availability remains strong and should stay steady throughout the summer barring some unexpected outside influence.
We did see some price increases from construction material manufacturers come through since last month’s newsletter and they are listed below:
Lyons Manufacturing announced a price increase that will be effective starting September 2. Lyons stated the increased price of raw materials and increased freight costs due to the new ELP mandate as the main reasons for the increase. Updated pricing reflecting the increases should be available in the next few weeks.
Dayton Superior also announced a price increase effective July 15, 2019. The May 10th tariff increase from 10% to 25% on Chinese import products was the main reason stated for the increase. Existing quotations will be valid for 30 days from the actual quote date with no extended delivery dates available.
Diamond Professionals also cited the tariffs as the reason for their price increase. Diamond Professionals will push through the price increase on July 15, 2019. New pricing is now available.
Quad-Lock, a manufacturer of insulated concrete forms and accessories, announced a price increase for August 1, 2019. According to Quad-Lock, the tariffs with China on steel and aluminum products have reached a point where a price increase is necessary. New pricing will apply to any order shipped on or after August 1, 2019.
Contractors’ bid prices increased 0.2% from May to June, while materials and services input costs declined 0.6% for the month, based on the latest producer price indexes (PPIs) that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) posted on July 12.
Click here for the latest update on the construction economy from Ken Simonson, the chief economist of the AGC.
Our featured suppliers this month are:
- Hohmann & Barnard
- J. D. Russell
- Sonoco Products
Our associate profile this month is of Garrett King, an inside sales/warehouse associate in our Garner, NC branch.
Our management article this month is entitled, Develop Talented Employees Using These 3 Strategies. Finding and keeping talent is especially hard in this low unemployment market so I think you will find this article very helpful.
In closing, most construction industry forecasters are calling for a strong balance of the year. We hope that will be the case in your market. As always, thank you for your business. We never take it for granted.