Asphalt prices, which had largely flat-lined in the last 12 months, were shocked back to life in March by a run-up in oil prices fueled by the recent political turmoil in the Middle East. Highway contractors are guessing at whether hard-to-predict asphalt prices will continue to follow oil in upcoming months, something that doesn’t always happen. Source: Spot Rpice Brent Blend. IHS Global Insight. Source: Producer Price Index Bureau of Labor Statistics. IHS Global Insight. Related Links: Economics: Japan Quake Won�t Shake Up Costs as Recession Trumps Rising Prices Confidence Survey: Top Industry Execs Believe the Market Has Turned a
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.