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design thinkers


SLAM Construction Services reporting of monthly trends and changes in local construction materials, raw materials and MEP equipment begins anew for 2021. With hopes of a new year and federal administration bringing stability to the economic market, construction materials continue to feel the impact and resulting uncertainty of the pandemic, price increases and supply challenges.

Raw Materials

  • Iron Ore price surges as the commodity is demanded by China. Prices for one of Australia’s biggest exports are now at the highest level since March 2013.
  • Stainless Steel continues to rise as the demand for residential appliance carry on throughout big box stores. Estimated delivery times are around 2 to 3 weeks, but becoming more available than the past couple months.
  • The decline of U.S. oil supplies will return pricing power firmly to OPEC+. Saudi Arabia is controlling the oil market with its withdrawal of another 1-million BOPD from global markets beyond its OPEC+ commitments. By the actions from Saudi Arabia, they will control the world’s crude oil market.

Construction Materials

  • Structural steel has become a strong front-runner for demand on construction sites. Nucor has continued to raise the pricing of structural steel as the demand is too much for the factory to keep up with COVID protocols in place. A local contractor reports pricing from Nucor will decrease in coming months after the factories catch up on fulfilling orders.
  • LGMF is showing a boost in pricing and continue talks of rising again in April. The local supply house confirms this is a hot ticket item and they cannot get the product in the door fast enough as it comes off the shelves.
  • Glass, storefront and curtain wall have become a huge demand creating a price increase.
  • Lumber pricing, after dropping slightly towards the end of 2020, has again risen by over 50%.

MEP Equipment

  • A local mechanical contractor continues to report stable conditions but has received word that a big increase is coming for all metallic piping.

  • Lighting manufacturers have sent out notifications that there will be a 3-8% price increase on most products across the line. Lead-times have not really increased.

  • Electrical gear has been a popular item leading to price increases and lead times being almost 2 months for panel boards and up to 16 weeks for switchgear.

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