We monitor and report on Portland cement shipments because it is an excellent proxy for rebar consumption as well as a good indicator of the current status of the construction market. For the 3MMA ending October, shipment volume was down 0.4% y/y, however the 12 month moving total (MMT) increased by 3.5%, (Figure 1).

cement-jan-2017-fig-1

Figure 1

On a regional basis, five of the nine census regions recorded growth, while four posted declines. The West South Central realized the largest decline, off 7.0%, 3MMT y/y, as both the West North Central and East North Central each saw consumption fall 3.4%, 3MMT y/y. The South Atlantic recorded the strongest gain, up 7.3%, 3MMT y/y, followed by the Mountain region, up 6.0% and the East South Central, up 7.6% 3MMT y/y, (Figure 2).