Concrete prices are still rising after lumber prices have fallen well below their peak 2004 prices and steel prices have stabilized.
This is a typical price pattern. Concrete producers absorb more of their variation in raw materials costs than do lumber and steel producers.
Ready-mix prices are up 15% since the end of 2003, block prices are 10% higher, pre-stressed products are up 8.5%, and pipe is up 7.8%. Price increases have been larger in the southeastern and southwestern regions, which had to increase cement imports to meet concrete product demand.
Concrete prices will continue increasing throughout 2005–06, because world cement capacity additions will not be enough to significantly relieve the current strain on capacity.