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CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & COMMODITY MARKET BRIEF

PRIVATE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS, FUTURES AND MARKET OVERVIEW

BRIEF OPPORTUNITY FOR SOME CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS

As most March contracts ended Tuesday it offers a short term window into lower forward pricing for most commodity based construction materials after seeing record highs on lumber Monday and the quarter. News from builder sentiment being lower for home building also adding to lower levels. Contractors have a quick and brief opportunity to reprice projects and or future deliveries for an opportunity to offset some of their prior costs and profit losses.

Although residential single family homes declined a bit last month multi-family construction permits have made up for and surpassed the demand off set. The room for further upswing on commodity base materials is still there as we approach the busy season for the construction industry. Pricing and renegotiating forward contracts for building construction materials now could help budgets for deliveries in May, June, July, & August for most ongoing projects. New construction projects with scheduled starts in August, September, October, & November will have the biggest opportunity to save approximately 30-40% of March market rates and possible availability issues this securing and insuring a project start this fall is possible and in line with budget expectations.

Gasoline

For the first time since June 2018, U.S. gas prices passed the $2.20 per gallon mark amid improved demand sentiment. A current US average of $2.83/ gal. The year of July 2008 serves to have the highest recorded cost of gasoline at $3.63 per gallon. Among the United States, gasoline is the greatest single volume refined product sold in the country constituting nearly half of national oil consumption. The NYMEX Division in New York bears unleaded and reformulated gasoline for oxygen blending in units of 42,000 gallons or 1,000 barrels. NYMEX operates in delivering petroleum products at harbor terminals, conducting domestic shipments from refineries in New York and the Gulf Coast, and the company functions as a major East Coast trading center for imports.

Copper

Since the beginning of 2021, copper has increased by 15.49% or 0.55 USd/LB according to trading on a Contract for Difference (CFD) which has been historically known to track benchmark markets for commodities. In February 2011, copper reached its peak high of 4.63. This metal is notably traded on the London Metal Exchange (LME), the COMEX, and at the Multi-Commodity Exchange in India. Typically,the standard contract for copper is 25,000 lbs. Globally, copper is the third most utilized metal and Chile accounts for over one thirds of the world’s copper production. China, Peru, the U.S., Australia, Indonesia, Zambia, Canada, and Poland. China, Japan, India, South Korea, and Germany serve as the biggest copper importers.

Heating Oil/Diesel

The start of 2021 has brought about a heating oil cost increase of 0.44 USD/GAL for a total increased percentage of 29.82. Heating oil reached its most expensive price in July 2008 at 4.16. Known as the No. 2 fuel oil, heating oil accounts for 25% of yield of a barrel of crude following gasoline. Heating oil is traded in units of 42,000 gallons (1,000 barrels). Delivery of such oil is based in the New York harbor which is the principal market trading center. Heating oil is additionally used to hedge both diesel and jet fuel which trade in the cash market to NYMEX Division in New York at a stable premium.

Steel

Steel increased by 11.56% or 488 Yuan/MT since the beginning of the 2021 year according to trading on a Contract for Difference (CFD). In October of 2018, steel reached an all time high of 4960. Steel Rebar is traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange and the London Metal Exchange. 10 tons is the standard future contract for steel. This metal is the world’s most important and most used material in construction, cars, machines, and appliances. China is the biggest producer of crude steel followed closely by the European Union, Japan, the U.S., India, Russia, and South Korea.

Lumber

Lumber is wood which has been processed into planks and beams. Countries near the Baltic Sea and North America are the biggest producers of lumber. During the third week of March, Chicago lumber futures were trading around $830 per thousand board of lumber. This comes after a soaring record high price of $1,040 per thousand board in the beginning of March And $1045 Monday for wholesale March Delivery contracts. Real estate markets and expectations of an economic rebound in combination with enormous government spending alongside vaccine rollout were factors for such a documented high. Social distancing and isolation has motivated homeowners to expand and remodel their domains as low mortgage rates crafted larger suburban housing demand. Lumber reached its all time high of 1045 in March 202