Electrical Marketing's Electrical Price Index, a proprietary data series provided monthly to EM subscribers, is seldom a volatile thing. Most of the time it's downright boring, because pricing changes of any size are rare in this market, especially with copper trading in a narrow range. If a product category changes price by more than 1% over a month, or even year-on-year, it's worth noting. In fact, since the beginning of the year, the trend of the overall price index has been flat to gently downward by tenths of a percent at a time.
In this context, the April index's report of ballast prices increasing more than 12% jumped off the page. What gives? Is everyone hiking ballast prices? Was there a supply disruption somewhere? Turns out the answer is likely more mundane. Global Insights’ Michael Montgomery, who prepares the EPI each month for EM, said the increase is probably a statistical anomaly due to the timing of a data release. We will watch it closely in case it turns out to be more than that. If you know another explanation, please share it with us.
Subscribers can view the entire price index chart here: Ballasts Category Jumps 12.4% in April EPI