1 Jul 2006
It was two years ago that we first mentioned in these pages how the increasing demand for raw materials was fuelling costs for equipment manufacturers. At that time, the price of copper had reached $1.38/lb from a low in 1998 of just 60cents/lb. Even then, those escalating prices, along with those of steel and other raw materials looked set to signal a round of equipment price increases. Amazingly, thanks to increases in production efficiencies and a further chipping away at manufacturers’ already tight margins, equipment prices remained relatively stable.