Construction Materials Prices Continued Rising in Last Week of Feb.

Washington, DC, March 1, 2021-Materials prices continued rising last week, reports Associated General Contractors. 

“Copper futures closed Thursday at $4.26 per pound, a nearly 10-year high and up 63% from a year ago. The national average retail price for on-highway diesel fuel on Monday climbed for the 16th week in a row, by 10 cents per gallon from a week ago to $2.97, a 25% rise since the low point on November 2, according to data the Energy Information Administration posted on Monday. Near-month futures prices for natural gas and West Texas Intermediate crude oil have each increased 26% in the past year, pushing up the cost of fuels, petrochemical feedstocks, and liquid asphalt. 

“‘Engineering and construction costs increased for the fourth consecutive month in February,’ IHS Markit and the Procurement Executives Group reported on Wednesday, noting increases for carbon steel pipe, fabricated structural steel, and ocean freight from both Europe and Asia. ‘Survey participants witnessed price escalations for all categories under the materials and equipment sub-index for the second month in a row….The sub-index for current subcontractor labor costs came in…slightly higher’ than in January. In the aftermath of last week’s freezing weather across much of Texas, thousands of properties suffered damage from broken water pipes. Repairs and replacements will add to demand for plumbing supplies, wallboard, and other materials.”