How a U.S. steel shortage created a market bubble

The Covid-19 pandemic threw supply chains into chaos, and steel — an essential metal used in everything from dishwashers to cars — was not immune to these disruptions. “Steel is certainly one of those examples of shortages, higher prices, and growing frustration among customers,” Associated Builders and Contractors chief economist Anirban Basu told CNBC. Demand for steel dropped at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, but then it quickly skyrocketed. At one point, steel prices were 300% above their pre-pandemic levels at more than $1,900 per ton. Before the pandemic,…

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Concrete and cement industries brace for demand boom from $1 trillion infrastructure plan

Concrete is the foundation of just about everything. It’s used to construct buildings, highways, bridges, roads and more. During the Covid-19 pandemic, concrete fell victim to the same phenomena impacting other essential materials and goods: snarled supply chains and labor shortages. And demand for concrete — and its essential ingredient, cement — appears to have only increased, after the Senate passed the $1 trillion infrastructure package to upgrade America’s roads, bridges and tunnels. “In the short-term, we continue to have the supply chain difficulties, particularly in certain markets, and so…

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Biden infrastructure bill has big business backing. Here is how small business feels

Construction workers pouring wet concrete on a road. With 20% of the planned infrastructure bill, or $110 billion, dedicated for the construction of roads and bridges, small constructions firms are hoping for a long-term boom in business. Jung Getty As small businesses recover from labor constraints and business losses due to Covid-19, a bipartisan infrastructure bill offers hope of a coming boom as it makes its way through the chambers of Congress. On Aug. 1, the U.S. Senate finalized text for the Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act, outlining $550 billion in…

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