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COVID, Supply Chain Disruption, and the Price of Steel

    Is uncertainty making it hard to plan for the future? Tabitha S. Stine, the director of construction solutions services at the steel and steel products company Nucor, has a strong sense of what the construction industry can expect. In her presentation for Outlook 2022, she draws connections between COVID-19, supply chain disruptions, the price of steel, and near- and mid-term prospects for the construction industry and the economy writ large. In the long-term, material prices continue to rise: From Jan. 2011 to Sept. 2021, ready-mix concrete prices increased more than 40%, softwood lumber nearly 70%, and hot rolled steel 40%. Stine also offers tips for managing risk in acquiring steel, such as early involvement with suppliers and locking in firm price agreements to avoid volatility.