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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Crude oil could rise to $60 a barrel by the end of the year, even without any help from OPEC, new Saudi energy minister Khalid Al Falih told CNNMoney. Al Falih was speaking just after OPEC wrapped up a summit in Vienna. During the meeting, OPEC decided against implementing a cartel-wide production quota range, once again failing to reach an agreement to cap oil production. Al Falih said $60 oil by year end is "very possible" and higher prices in 2017 are also likely. He said supply and demand have "converged" and prices have been lifted by supply outages.
  • The Winona County, Minn., board of commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of accepting a modified ordinance from the Winona County Attorney's Office based on the silica sand mining ban written by the Land Stewardship Project, according to the Winona Post-Bulletin. As part of the vote, the board also forwarded that model ordinance to the Winona County Planning Commission for review and consideration. This begins a process where the ban will be reviewed for 60 days while hearings are held to gather public comment, and the draft of the ban could be forwarded to the zoning board to see how it would affect the comprehensive land-use plan for the county.
  • Some Clayton County, Iowa, residents are continuing to urge caution in county officials' discussion of the proposed expansion of a frac sand mine by Pattison Sand Co. A five-member committee is reviewing the request to change 746 acres from agricultural to heavy industrial use, and is expected to present its findings to Clayton County supervisors, according to the Des Moines Register.