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CRSI expecting stronger rebar demand in ’14; buyers wary

Keywords: Tags  Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, CRSI, rebar, consumption, forecast, Portland Cement Association, PCA, Robert Risser Nucor

NEW YORK — The Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI) is forecasting moderate growth in rebar consumption this year and a significant increase for 2014, but some rebar market sources expressed skepticism about the data.

The CRSI projects rebar demand at 7.45 million tons for the year, up 4 percent from last year, CRSI president Robert Risser told AMM in an e-mail. Demand will likely rise to about 8.2 million tons in 2014.

The CRSI calculates its forecasts based on data on cement consumption from the Skokie, Ill.-based Portland Cement Association (PCA) by estimating the tons of rebar that reinforce a certain amount of concrete, Risser said.

Some rebar buyers said they weren’t as optimistic about CRSI’s 2014 numbers.

"If you had to take a group that was consistently optimistic in its estimations, it’s the PCA," a rebar buyer in the Midwest said. "What is predicted and what occurs is not particularly close sometimes."

Rebar mill executives at Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor Corp., Tampa, Fla.-based Gerdau Long Steel North America and others said last month at an International Trade Commission hearing that the rebar market is recovering slowly (, Oct. 11).

"From an infrastructure perspective, that kind of increase takes big funding. Do you believe that Congress is going to fund anything?" the rebar buyer asked. "You look at all the construction numbers and strip out housing, and construction has not increased significantly."

A rebar market source was hopeful the increase in rebar demand would occur next year. "I think those are optimistic numbers, and they’re challenging, but I think they could be achievable," he said.

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