Ready Mix Yardage Continues Decline
Data recently released by the United States Geological Service shows 126,401 tons of cement were shipped to the state during April 2023. Cement shipments fell by 8.9% over the same period in 2022. The state has seen a decline in three of the first four months of data released. After four months, the state is 3.5% below shipments for the first four months of 2022.
Looking to ready mix volumes, we estimate 519,873 cubic yards of concrete were placed during the month.
The May residential construction report from the Alabama Center for Real Estate projects new housing starts are down 24% versus the first five months of 2022 (6,012 vs 7,953). This data is not surprising with the rapid rise in mortgage rates. Every major metropolitan area is down across the state. Nationally, new housing starts are down 28%. Commercial construction has remained strong and has helped offset the blow from residential contraction. Many design firms are still trying to hire new architects and engineers to help with the back log of work. How long commercial construction can remain strong in the face of rising rates is anyone’s guess. The AIA Billing Index was 51 in May. Any number above 50 represents a growing market for architect billings on future projects.