September 2017 Newsletter

September 2017 Newsletter

Summer is over and the fall building season is upon us. We had some slowdown due the far-reaching effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. While our markets weren’t severely affected the heavy rains slowed construction for about a week with each hurricane. The storms flooded several plants we buy from in Texas and has caused several prices increases due to petrochemical shortages because of refineries shut down due to flooding in Texas.

Dear Friends,

Summer is over and the fall building season is upon us. We had some slowdown due the far-reaching effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. While our markets weren’t severely affected the heavy rains slowed construction for about a week with each hurricane. The storms flooded several plants we buy from in Texas and has caused several prices increases due to petrochemical shortages because of refineries shut down due to flooding in Texas.

Price Updates

For a closer look at price increases, see below:

More than 20% of US refineries were closed for extended periods of time due to the massive flooding in Texas and parts of Louisiana caused by Hurricane Harvey. The flooring has impacted the cost of fuel, resins, and other petroleum and natural gas derivatives. There are now significant shortages of resins and it is predicted that these shortages will continue for several months. Most resin manufacturers have put their customers on allocation. Both hurricane Harvey and Irma has caused a shortage of trucks in the southeast, due to the demand to transport needed food, clothing, and other disaster relief supplies to the affected areas along the Gulf Coast. As a result, freight rates for tractor trailers have increased by as much as 20% or more in September. These factors have caused some manufacturers of construction products to increase prices and will cause further price increases in the coming months. We also continued to see the effects of the worldwide price increases for steel on construction products in the US in September.

Several major polyethylene sheeting plants were closed for a week or more due to flooding caused by Harvey along the Gulf coast. This, along with increased demand for polyethylene in the areas affected by Harvey and Irma, has caused significant shortages. Lead times for truckload orders, which are normally one week to 10 days are now three weeks or more. This shortage, along with resin manufacturers allocating resin and increasing prices in early September has caused polyethylene sheeting prices to increase approximately 15% or more. Resin prices are expected to increase another $.03 to $.05/LB by early October and this increase will be passed on by polyethylene sheeting manufacturers to their distributors. If you have any projects which require polyethylene sheeting we strongly recommend that you buy out these jobs as soon as possible to ensure your order can be delivered when you need it and not cause your project to be delayed and to avoid paying higher prices in the coming weeks.

Polyolefin under slab vapor barrier manufacturers have also been effected by the resin allocation and the increase in their costs for resins. Most manufacturers announced price increases the first week in September of approximately 8% and are expected to increase prices again in October. As with polyethylene sheeting, we strongly encourage you to buy out any projects you have that require polyolefin under slab vapor barriers as soon as possible.

Advanced Drainage Systems, one of the premier manufacturers of polyethylene drainage pipe in the US announced a 7% price increase the first week in September which was retroactive to September 1st. Prices for any firm orders in their system prior to September 1st were honored if shipped in September. All orders placed on or after September 1st will be invoiced at prices which include the 7% price increase.  Other polyethylene drainage pipe manufacturers followed ADS’s lead and announced similar price increases.  Demand in September and October is historically higher than in other months and ADS projects longer lead times and shortages of some items up until and possibly through November, due to the tight supply of resins. Some analysts expect polyethylene drainage pipe manufacturers to increase prices again in October as resin prices are expected to increase again in October.

Concrete reinforcing wire mesh manufacturers increased prices between 7 and 8% in mid-September due to their increased costs for wire rod. Several wire rod manufacturers, both domestic and foreign have announced another price increase for October. If the October wire rod price increase holds, concrete reinforcing manufacturers have indicated they will increase price again in November. If you are bidding projects which specify concrete reinforcing wire mesh, please be sure that you get a quote from your New South sales representative.

BoMetals, announced on September 18th a 5% across the board price increase for their entire line of concrete accessories effective October 1st.  Increased raw material costs was cited by BoMetals as the reason for their price increase. Among other items BoMetals manufacturers are metal keyway, PVC waterstops, round dowels, polyethylene expansion joints, plate dowels, and dowel sleeves.  

Both of the two major masonry reinforcing and tie manufacturers in the east and southeast, Hohmann & Barnard and Wire Bond will increase prices in October. Neither manufacturer has made an official announcement, however representatives of both manufacturers confirmed they will increase prices between 10 and 13% in October due to their increased costs for wire rod, zinc, higher freight costs, and higher manufacturing costs. If you need to buy out any projects, please do so as soon as possible to avoid paying higher prices.

Although the price for scrap steel on US metal exchanges was unchanged the first week in September, which surprised many analysts who had predicted the price would increase by as much as $30/ton, domestic rebar mills increased prices by $20/ton on September 22nd. Demand for domestic rebar increased significantly in August and September as supplies of foreign rebar continued to decline in the Southeast and other areas of the US. Some domestic mills have had stock outs of some sizes of the most popular rebar sizes due to the increased demand. Since the first of August domestic mills have increased prices by $70/ton or about 13%. If price of scrap steel does increase in early October, expect domestic mills to increase prices again in October.

Manufacturers of Geotextile erosion and drainage fabrics increased prices in mid-September by 8 to 10% due to resin being on allocation and their increased costs for resin. As with other construction products made from oil or natural gas resins, the supply of erosion control and drainage fabrics will be tight in the coming months and further price increases are expected in October as resin manufacturers will increase their prices again. Please be sure that you buy out any projects which require erosion and drainage fabrics as soon as possible to ensure they will be available when you need them on your job and to avoid paying higher prices in the future.

The producer price index (PPI) for final demand in July, not seasonally adjusted, dipped 0.1% from June but increased 1.9% year-over-year (y/y) from July 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on August 10AGC 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.

We also recently were informed that we won several awards we wanted to share with you. We were named one of the Best Companies to Work for in South Carolina, one of the 25 Fastest Growing Companies in South Carolina, and we were also named to the Roaring Twenties list of the 20 fastest growing large companies in South Carolina. Thanks for your part in our winning these awards. While we won’t rest on our laurels it is nice to see hard work recognized.

Featured Manufacturers


A leader in concrete and masonry accessories


Simpson Strong Tie

Connecting systems for wood, steel, masonry, and concrete

Simpson Strong Tie


High quality building sealants and coatings

Associate Profile

Michael Ray

Our Associate profile this month is of Michael Ray, Rebar Fabrication Manager in our Tucker (Atlanta), Georgia branch. Michael is a native of Columbus, GA and he is a graduate of Lithia Springs High School. He is engaged to Sheena Przeadzki and had two boys, Justin Ray (9) and Charlie York (3). His hobbies include skydiving, going new places and trying new things, spending time with my family, and watching the kids play sports. He came to us from Williams Form Engineering where he was employed from 2001-2016. Michael’s knowledge of rebar fabrication has been a great asset to our Atlanta team.

Our management article this month is titled, Great Leaders Focus on One Important Thing. Some managers try to do too many things at once and it backfires. Check out this article for some good tips on how to avoid that.

We also have stepped up our social media game lately. If you haven’t been to our social media sites in a while click on the links below and “like” and “share” with your friends in our industry. I think you will especially find the training videos on our You Tube site to be helpful.




Great Leaders Focus on One Important Thing

By Joel Garfinkle

From small shops to giant corporations, we know that great leaders everywhere are on top of any number of important facts and figures, deadlines and other business information. They have the knowledge, the expertise and the drive to succeed — often in very different ways. The best leaders, however, all share a common trait: they prioritize relationships.

Results come from great teams, and great teams start with a strong coalition. If you know relationships could be your key to getting ahead, but you’re struggling to get it right, read below to learn how coalition building can help you succeed in any workplace.

Broaden your supporters

It is great to have a group of people who know you well, especially if they include your immediate team, your boss and your regular contacts in the business. Over time, managers tend to build long-term, loyal and like-minded teams who all know how to work together and get the job done. It’s a good start, but don’t forget to include those who aren’t so much like you. People with different perspectives, different job experiences and different working styles not only add great value to the team, they often have the ear of totally different people.

Want your message heard? Enlist the help of people less like you and your current group of go-to supporters.

Balance your relationship energies

Relationships old and new require energy. Building rapport, trust and common ground with new supporters can be challenging and time consuming, even if it is exciting. Be sure not to forget about your existing relationships while you forge new ones, however. Existing relationships need and deserve the care and attention required to keep them strong.

Embrace the challenging relationships

It can be tempting to focus on the relationships that come easily to us — the ones where there is a natural kinship and it’s almost effortless to build rapport. Whether it’s because we have a similar style, a complementary skillset or a shared interest or background, sometimes, some relationships practically build themselves.

It can be more difficult to make ourselves do the hard work of building trust with someone who is less like us, less obviously connected, or with whom we’ve had a rocky road in the past. Those supporters, however, can be some of the most valuable; they often have a different circle of influence, and their diverse perspectives can add weight and value to your message by assuring others it checks out from all angles. Learn to embrace these challenging relationships.

Address interpersonal issues directly

If you’ve had clashes with others in the past, push beyond the desire to just avoid working with that person and address those issues directly. It’s not necessary to be friends with everyone in your organization, and sometimes a working style isn’t our (or someone else’s) cup of tea. Still, tackle the topic head on and have a respectful conversation. Chances are you’ll find some common areas of respect and ways to work together. These people may not be your supporters, but you can ensure they aren’t your detractors, either, with open, honest and direct communication.

Foster the message

Your supporters carry your message for you. Whether you are simply conveying a recommended tactic for a specific project at work or broadcasting the larger message of your brand as a good leader in your organization, the importance and the effect is the same. When you build a coalition with the people around you, you create buzz and enhance your visibility. By fostering and maintaining your diverse relationships, you raise others awareness of your abilities.

Great leaders prioritize building consensus not because they’re more important than results; they prioritize relationships because great results will follow. Look at how you might be struggling with coalition-building in your organization and find ways to build relationships that will be the key to your future success.

In closing,  we hope you have a great fall building season and, as always, thank you for your business.

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
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