Cold-formed Steel Framing Volume Up by 7% in Q2 2018

October 2018

The volume of steel used to manufacture cold-formed steel framing products ticked up 7 percent in the second quarter of 2018, according to the latest Nonresidential Market Volume Report released by the Steel Framing Industry Association. CFS manufacturers reported using 302,078 total tons (raw tons before processing) of steel in the first quarter of this year, according to SFIA’s industry-wide statistical summary, up from 282,355 total tons reported in the previous quarter.
    
Other first-quarter highlights include the following:

  • Total structural tons reported: 148,633
  • Total nonstructural tons reported: 143,445.

Note: Companies participating in the CFS survey have the option of reporting total tons, or tons of structural and nonstructural products. Consequently, the figures for structural and nonstructural tons may differ from total tons. In these instances, the figure for total tons always provides the most complete picture.
    
In addition to market data, the SFIA report includes analysis by the Thompson Research Group on trends and factors that impact the specification and use of cold-formed steel framing in the United States. Most companies surveyed in the Nonresidential Market Volume report that the broad range of tariffs announced by the current administration have had little impact on the CFS market. Most distributors built inventory early in the quarter, so initial concerns about supply haven’t played out, although it is more difficult to get steel from some countries.
    
The more relevant concern is labor availability, which is causing many GCs to be more choosy about the jobs on which they bid. This also stretches lead times, but as companies catch up, it could set the stage for strong performance in the CFS sector in the fourth quarter.
    
The market statistics are contained in the “SFIA Quarterly Market Data Report,” which is the only report that provides buyers and users of CFS framing with timely, high-quality data and observations on CFS framing. This includes quarterly tonnage by region as well as statistics on material inventory by region and type.
    
The full report is available at www.sfiadata.com.