Wallboard prices deflate
The price index for the always-volatile gypsum product group fell 4.6 percent between February and May of this year. After recording a price increase during March — the only price uptick of the past 15 months — average gypsum product prices dipped for the second month in a row during May. Average prices in this product sector were 6.0 percent lower this May than in April, and 32.1 percent lower in May 2001 than in May 2000. A significant amount of new wallboard manufacturing capacity has come on line during the past 12 months — just as new housing and remodeling demand has flattened. Supply now exceeds solid demand — in contrast to mid 1998 through mid 2000, when demand was far-outdistancing supply.