Though Colorado continues to skirt a cement shortage halting construction across the country, local builders fear they’ll soon feel the pinch of higher cement prices. At least two cement companies here -Ready Mixed Concrete Co. in Denver and Holcim (US) Inc. in Florence - have raised rates. Holcim officials declined to reveal the hike they recently implemented. Officials at Ready Mixed also declined to comment. However, Ready Mixed Concrete recently sent a letter informing customers of a price increase of $5 per cubic yard starting Sept. 1. The company now charges around $60 a cubic yard for concrete.
A drop-off in spec building (speculative construction for no particular buyer or tenant), delays in government-funded construction because of the state’s budget crisis, an abundance of natural resources and direct access to local cement companies such as Holcim and Ready Mixed Concrete have helped Colorado dodge the cement shortage.
"We have the capacity to generate what we need around here," said Bob Moody, director of legislative affairs for the Colorado chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties. "I don’t think we depend on imported cement as much as other parts of the country do." Several factors figure nto shortages around the nation that have delayed construction of everything from swimming pools to home foundations and highways.
Concrete industry professionals are urging the US Commerce Department to lighten their load by temporarily lifting a $57-per-ton tariff on Mexican cement imports.