A US cement shortage in the south has neither increased prices nor affected state- funded projects, but that will change if the product remains scarce, construction officials said. The shortages will likely get worse before the situation improves, said Ed Sullivan, chief economist for the Portland Cement Association, an industry trade group based in Skokie, Ill. "The keys are what happens to demand later in the year," Sullivan said.
Rising interest rates could slow residential construction in the United States, which has helped fuel the demand for cement, Sullivan said. In addition, China may succeed in slowing its overheated economy. Both of those things will make more cement available, Sullivan said. The Southeast and parts of the Southwest and Northeast are experiencing "tight supplies" of cement, according to the Portland Cement Association.
Regional cement shortages haven’t affected prices nationally either. Cement was $83.89 per ton in May, 1.3 percent more than last year, according to according to Engineering News-Record from a survey of 20 cities. Meanwhile, June concrete prices averaged $75.04 per ton, up 0.4 percent from a year ago.