Foodservice Equipment Reports

Have Commodities Prices Bottomed Out?

As forecasts for economic growth have slowed during the past three months, prices for many key metals and other materials used in foodservice equipment have fallen in line with most other markets. But while there is still a lot of uncertainty, prices for steels appear to have bottomed out in August and have been on the rise since that time.

The MEPs Int’l. North American Stainless Steel Index fell 12% between May and August, but rose 2.8% in September. Similarly, the MEPs North American Carbon Steel Index, which had fallen almost 13% between May and August, rose 4.1% in September. Prices for nickel, copper, aluminum and natural gas, after plunging though July, August and most of September, have also turned up in the past couple weeks, according to data from MetalPrices.com.

Many equipment and supplies manufacturers have been frustrated by the materials-price declines over the summer. Stainless and carbon steel prices remain nearly 10% higher now than a year ago and nearly all manufacturers have tried to put through price increases, at least on selected products, during the past year. But they are getting push-back from many big operators, whose organizations are dealing with strong increases in food costs.  

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