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Precast industry survey results: Steady volume, pricing pressure

The National Precast Concrete Association’s annual producer-member survey finds the industry contracted slightly between 2009 and 2010, from $19.5 billion to $19.3 billion in shipments, although resale items brought each year to about $21.4 billion total. Assessing the 2011 Precast Industry Benchmarking Report, NPCA President Ty Gable notes, “Like the rest of the construction industry, the precast sector is struggling. Precast is very diversified, so we can weather a recession better than most construction sectors, but we’re basically stuck in neutral here.”

Two report statistics provide a clear picture of precast sector activity, he adds: Producers logged basically the same sales volume in 2009 and 2010, but with 15 percent fewer employees. At the same time, the report estimates that the amount of precast delivered in 2010 increased by 4 percent over the prior year—to an equivalent 40 million cubic yards. “That trend hints at downward pressure on pricing,” Gable says. “When sales volume remains the same but actual precast produced increases by 4 percent, it means the industry may have actually sold more product for less money.”

The Benchmarking Report is produced annually by an independent analyst, reflects data from U.S. and Canadian precast plants, and includes a region-by-region analysis of key sales, personnel and benefits statistics. NPCA plant operators completing surveys receive free copies, along with a company-specific financial report; otherwise the document is available to NPCA members for $250 ($500 for nonmembers). Additional information on the survey can be obtained from NPCA’s Sara Deuser, 317/569-1273;

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