The volume of steel used to manufacture cold-formed steel (CFS) framing products in 2018 remained level with 2017 totals, and drifted down 2 percent in the fourth quarter from the volume reported in the third quarter of 2018, according to the latest Quarterly Market Data Report released by the Steel Framing Industry Association (SFIA).


For 2018, CFS manufacturers reported using 1,126,178 total tons (raw tons before processing) of steel, compared with 1,124,193 in 2017.  In the fourth quarter of 2018, the industry-wide statistical survey finds that manufacturers used 268,063 total tons, compared with 273,682 total tons reported in the previous quarter.


Other fourth-quarter highlights:

  • Total structural tons reported: 136,057*
  • Total nonstructural tons reported:132,006*


(*Note: Companies participating in the CFS survey have the option of reporting Total Tons, or tons of Structural and Nonstructural products. Consequently, the figures for Structural and Nonstructural tons may differ from Total Tons. In these instances, the figure for Total Tons always provides the most complete picture.)


Cold-formed steel framing is the used in the construction of 50 percent of non-residential buildings, and the relative movements of products used for structural and nonstructural applications can be a good leading indicator of non-residential construction demand.

The complete statistical report, including tonnage of structural and nonstructural products produced in four regions of the United States is available at


In addition to market data, the SFIA also publishes the “Quarterly Nonresidential Volume Report,” which includes analysis by the Thompson Research Group on trends and factors that impact the specification and use of cold-formed steel framing in the United States, including trends and relevant data in the context of other construction market indices.  This report will be available the week of January 28, 2019.


TRG also produces a companion publication, which tracks movements in the volumes of steel used in the United States to produce major types of CFS products. In addition, TRG captures intelligence from companies that buy and use cold-formed steel and presents relevant data in the context of other construction market indices.


Both the “Quarterly Market Data Report” and the “Quarterly Nonresidential Volume Report” are available at: