Data recently released by the United States Geological Service shows 106,486 tons of cement were shipped to the state during August 2020. Cement shipments to the state contracted by 6% over the same period in 2019. After expanding for two consecutive months, the state experienced a slowdown for the month of August.
Looking to ready mix volumes, we estimate 394,318 cubic yards of concrete were placed during the month. The state fell below the 400,000 cubic yards for the first time since March 2020. Looking at the year to date totals, we forecast ready mix yardage is lagging 2019 totals by 5.6%. Historically, we experience a slowdown the last four months of the year, so it is unlikely the state will able to replicate 2019 volumes of 4,869,689 yards. We anticipate 2020 totals will be similar to the tonnage and yardage seen in the state in 2018.
Examining the national construction indexes, The Home Builder Sentiment for November in the South currently stands at 90.Anything above 50 forecast a growth in the homebuilding market. The 90 represents a historical record for the homebuilder index. The AIA billing index for the month of October stands at 47.5. The number has grown for two consecutive months but still lies below a 50 which forecast growth. Residential construction will likely remain strong for the foreseeable future, but we expect commercial construction will be slow as many business are unlikely to expand or build due to unknowns of COVID19.
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