Rebar suppliers see slow recovery from 40 percent shipment drop

Source: Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, Schaumburg, Ill.

Prior to the Transportation Construction Coalition’s 2011 Legislative Fly-In and (separately organized) Rally for Roads, May 24–25 in Washington, D.C. (companion item), CRSI surveyed rebar producers on near-term market conditions, the results supporting a TCC-targeted six-year, $500 billion highway and transit bill

Among survey respondents, CRSI notes, only 37 percent believe 2011 will be better than 2010; 20 percent believe they will be spending more on capital improvement than 2010; 20 percent believe employee numbers and wages will increase in 2011; approximately 30 percent will be reducing wages and employees even more than last year; 8 percent believe 2011 will meet 2007 pre-recession year quantities; and, 26 percent have a backlog greater than four months, compared with a normal backlog of six to eight months. CRSI projects 2011 industry volume to be approximately 6M tons, similar to 2010, versus 10 million tons in 2007.

“We are asking Congress to pass a six-year bill at an authorization level of at least $500 billion,” says CRSI President Robert Risser. “That is the only way we can put people back to work. Without the appropriate funding for transportation, we will not be able to support future growth, our economy will continue to lag and our infrastructure will continue to crumble.” Current forecasts for the construction industry continue to predict a lag in a recovery ranging from a year to 18 months.