LAS VEGAS The burgeoning
housing and nonresidential construction markets will boost
rebar and wire rod production in 2013 and 2014, according to
Jim Kerkvliet, Gerdau Long Steel North Americas vice
president of sales and marketing.
The rebar market will grow 4 to
4.5 percent in 2013, with wire rod expected to grow 3 percent
on a boost in the construction sector, Kerkvliet said at
SteelOrbis Rebar and Wire Rod Conference in Las
"When you look at the
residential and the multifamily residential (markets
growth), its going to have a big impact for those people
that make mesh, those people that make rebar for slabs and slab
on grade," Kerkvliet said.
permits totaled between 475,000 and 515,000 at the start of
2012, and permits this year have already reached 957,000,
Kerkvliet said. Multifamily residential starts last year grew
29 percent from 2011, and that trend is likely to fuel growth
in the coming year, he added.
Signs are promising for large,
market-driven construction projects in the next two years,
Kerkvliet said. Industry analysis shows that the nonresidential
housing market is expected to grow 6.4 percent this year.
Residential housing starts are a
12- to 16-month leading indicator for nonresidential
construction, so actual nonresidential construction growth
might not be seen until the end of 2013 or into 2014, Kerkvliet
said, adding that rebar and wire rod growth in 2014 is expected
to be 11 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
"Everything is starting to line
up there," he said. "We see a little more positive move in the
Possible downsides to the
growth, however, include tighter municipal, state and federal
spending as debt-ceiling fears rein in government expenditures
and limit big infrastructure projects, he said. And despite
rosy nonresidential construction forecasts, most projects are
likely to be on the smaller side.
"I think the only thing
thats probably a challenge for us as a producer of both
rebar and structural is that the institutional standpoint and
nonresidential (construction) is going to be geared toward
six-story, eight-story (buildings)," Kerkvliet said.
"Theres still going to be some higher-story buildings
being built, but thatll probably come toward the end of
2013 (or) 2014."