I had no idea there is a shortage of concrete. Although there is a decline in demand, shortages exist in some key building products. Cement is at the top of this list. Just the demand from public and commercial buildings swallows the available raw material.
Plants in the US are operating at capacity. Inventories of the product remain low. This can lead to supply disruptions based on demand levels. So we are importing more cement this year. The quantity of imports increased over 39% in the first quarter of this year.
If the Gulf of Mexico region was rebuilding at a faster pace than it is, consumption would be greater leading to more of a scarcity of product.
Prices for lumber and its products are much lower current. This is an indication that residential construction is slowing. As demand for lumber decreases, mills are taken offline. This will eventually make the price rise again.
The law of supply and demand affects all of our products and the pricing structure at all times. As demand decreases, prices drop. When you consider all of the economic factors involved, it is amazing we can continue constructing affordable housing. It is also interesting to know that we currently import such a quantity of these items rather than produce them here.