Some prices finally fall

Regular readers of this column may notice that the demand data in the Plant Engineering operating materials and supplies table have been revised downward. In some cases, the revisions are significant. For example, in the 12 months ending July 2001, end-market demand for lubricating oils was revised from 7.
By Staff January 15, 2002

Regular readers of this column may notice that the demand data in the Plant Engineering operating materials and supplies table have been revised downward. In some cases, the revisions are significant. For example, in the 12 months ending July 2001, end-market demand for lubricating oils was revised from 7.7% to 4.8%. Demand for abrasive products like grinding wheels was revised from 12.5% to 7.4% and end-market growth for adhesives and sealants was adjusted from 11% to 6.4% over the same 12-month period.

The growth in U.S. end-markets that we report is based on industrial production data from the Federal Reserve Board. The updated measures reflect the incorporation of newly available, more comprehensive source data and the introduction of improved methods for compiling a few series.

Overall, industrial output is now reported to have increased at a slower rate in 1999 and 2000 than previously reported. Despite the downward revision, the general contour is the same as in the earlier estimates. After having picked up in the second half of 1999 and after having posted rapid gains in the first half of 2000, increases in industrial output abated noticeably at mid-year. According to the revised data, however, industrial output was weaker in the second half of 2000 than in the earlier estimates. In 2001, industrial production declined at about 5

With these revisions impacting factory operating materials and supplies, end-market growth now are slowing or falling more rapidly in our near-term forecasts. Prices for factory operating supplies, meanwhile, will show even stronger deflationary trends in the months ahead.

Price/cost/demand roundup

Industry SIC Average Product Prices Average Product Prices Direct Mfg. Costs Direct Mfg. Costs Growth in U.S. End Markets Growth in U.S. End Markets
Average product price changes are calculated from the producer price index for each 4-digit SIC (standard industrial classification) industry from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Analyses of each industry’s direct manufacturing cost changes are from Thinking Cap Solutions, Inc.’s proprietary Industry Cost Escalation (ICE) model. The “grade” indicates that recent price/cost changes have produced record high (A+) margins to average margins (C) to record low (F-) margins for the average producer in an industry. Grades of A to A+ mean plant engineers may be able to strike a better bargain with suppliers and better control plant costs.
Growth in U.S. end markets data are from the ICE model and are estimates of output for the domestic end markets which purchase a given industry’s products. All data prepared and presented by Thinking Cap Solutions, Inc., Port Angeles, WA (telephone: 360-452-6159; e-mail: ebaatz@ice-alert.com).
Wood pallets and skids 2448 0.54 0.56 Falling A+ -1.92 -4.17
Polishes and sanitation goods 2842 1.00 0.93 Falling B 2.00 1.62
Surface active agents 2843 2.84 2.69 Falling C -3.12 -3.95
Adhesives and sealants 2891 3.04 3.36 Falling B 6.39 1.55
Lubricating oils and greases 2992 7.70 7.29 Falling Fast B 4.78 1.19
Rubber and plastics hose and belting 3052 2.31 3.20 Stable A 0.95 -2.00
Abrasive products 3291 -0.09 0.09 Stable D 7.36 1.08
Steel wire and related products 3315 -1.07 -1.42 Stable F 3.22 1.84
Copper rolling and drawing 3351 1.07 -2.52 Falling C 21.21 8.55
Nonferrous wire drawing and insulating 3357 1.84 -0.72 Falling B 22.28 10.20
Heating equipment, except electric 3433 1.24 1.24 Stable A 1.47 0.49
Fabricated plate work, boiler shops 3443 1.06 1.01 Falling A 2.78 -0.65
Bolts, nuts, rivets and washers 3452 0.06 0.07 Falling C 3.48 2.10
Industrial valves 3491 1.69 1.77 Stable A 1.47 0.06
Fluid power valves and hose fittings 3492 1.44 1.34 Stable A 1.47 0.06
Other valves and pipe fittings 3494 2.78 3.91 Falling A 1.47 0.06
Miscellaneous fabricated wire products 3496 0.13 0.31 Falling C 5.12 0.66
Fabricated pipe and fittings 3498 1.91 1.37 Stable A 1.47 0.06
Ball and roller bearings 3562 1.46 0.91 Stable A 3.77 -0.76