Chicago -- Structural steel prices have fallen more than $100 since the beginning of the year, reflecting a 20 percent drop in materials costs. According to the Chicago-based American Institute of Steel Construction, the price decrease is due lower scrap costs, and major U.S. steel manufacturers reduced structural steel mill prices accordingly last week. The nation’s inventory of structural steel remains high at 1 million tons.
While steel is in abundance, cement is in short supply, with 10 states reporting shortages. Reports across the nation indicate lead times often exceeding 12 months for precast concrete products.