After four consecutive monthly declines, the producer price index (PPI) for inputs to residential construction ex-energy rose 0.3% in February. Ready-mix concrete (RMC) prices continued to rise at a historic pace with a 0.8% increase in February. RMC prices have increased in all but two months since January 2021, NAHB reports.
Prices for gypsum building materials and steel mill products also rose 0.5% and 2.6%, respectively, in February, but softwood lumber prices posted their seventh consecutive monthly decline with a 0.8% drop.
The months-long concrete price increases are partially due to the closure of a large limestone quarry in Mexico. And the concrete shortage isn’t limited to the United States — it’s a global shortage being driven by the dearth of one of concrete’s main ingredients: cement mix. This has resulted in price increases across the board, and there does not appear to be any relief on the horizon.
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