Cement and You

A pretty good story in the Wall Street Journal: A cement shortage is threatening the building boom in the United States. That’s because a lot of the cement used to make the concrete that goes into home foundations and big projects like the Bay Bridge project comes from overseas sources like Thailand and Colombia. The cement can’t get here because a building boom in China is tying up ships bringing construction supplies there.

“The cement shortages exacerbate a headache for the U.S. building industry from increasingly scarce materials. Steel supplies have been tight, with prices for many products soaring more than 50% since January.And wood supplies have been so tight that the composite price of framing lumber — a kind of index price that reflect a mix of lumber products — has jumped more than 60% to $463 as of Friday from $285 a year ago, according to Random Lengths, an industry newsletter in Eugene, Ore. Some of the price increases are being passed on to consumers.”

I also like the fact there’s a newsletter called Random Lengths.

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