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First Look - December 2014


TOP NEWS
AEM, Rock Products Team Up for Conference

The educational program at CONEXPO Latin America 2015 will feature a new one-day aggregates conference organized by Rock Products and Mining Media International.

60 Minutes Reports on Infrastructure

CBS News program 60 Minutes illustrated in the gravest terms the dire conditions of America's roads and bridges – and indicted congressional inaction on this major issue.

Granite Construction Releases Third Quarter Results

Granite Construction reported net income of $15.3 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2014, compared to revised net income of $13.0 million in the third quarter of 2013.


MSHA WATCH

The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration announced that federal inspectors issued 127 citations and six orders during special impact inspections conducted at 12 coal mines in October. No aggregates operations were targeted during the October inspections. Since April 2010, MSHA has conducted 835 impact inspections and issued 13,267 citations, 1,200 orders and 55 safeguards.


USGS STATS

An estimated 683 million metric tons (Mt) of total construction aggregates was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the third quarter of 2014, an increase of 9 percent compared with that of the third quarter of 2013. The estimated production for consumption in the first 9 months of 2014 was 1.64 billion metric tons (Gt), an increase of 8 percent compared with that of the same period of 2013, according to USGS Crushed Stone Commodity Specialist Jason Willett.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS
  • The value of new construction starts settled back 4 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $589.8 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics (formerly McGraw Hill Construction). The decline followed the 10 percent increase reported in September, which was the strongest month for total construction starts so far in 2014.
  • The U.S. transportation construction market will grow 3.1 percent from $185.9 billion in 2014 to $191.7 billion in 2015, according to a forecast released December 3 by American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced that construction spending during October 2014 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $971.0 billion, 1.1 percent (±1.8 percent) above the revised September estimate of $960.3 billion. Highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $82.0 billion, 1.1 percent (±7.6 percent) above the revised September estimate of $81.1 billion.

ENERGY

WTI crude oil futures price: 12/3/2014: $67.38/bbl, down $6.31 from week earlier; down $28.66 from year earlier.

Natural gas futures price: 12/3/2014: $3.805/mmBtu, down $0.550 from week earlier; down $0.171 from year earlier.

Natural gas inventories: 11/28/2014: 3,410 Bcf, down 22 Bcf from week earlier; down 227 Bcf from year earlier.

Crude oil inventories: 11/28/2014: 379.3 mmbbl, down 3.7 mmbbl from week earlier; down 6.5 mmbbl from year earlier.

Weekly coal production: 11/22/2014: 18.601 million tons, down 0.259 million tons from week earlier; down 0.140 million tons from year earlier.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration