A shortage of cement is cracking the foundation of California’s brisk building industry, and most experts agree it could continue through the remainder of this year year - and even beyond. The scant supply of cement has not only spiked the cost to homeowners and contractors and delayed construction projects, but it has suppliers of ready-mix concrete operating under an allocation system. In the past year, the cost of cement has gone up about 15 percent, contractors report.
A 2000 square-foot foundation today costs roughly $25,000 for labor, equipment and material. That’s 18 percent more than a year ago, and 10 percent more than a year before. In the last three to four months a US$5/t increase has been noted. A further price rise is expected in September.
Ready mix producers have this year seen two price increases, and we anticipate another increase in September and October. That will be three increases in a year, that’s what we’re being told," he said.