Rock Products - The Leading Voice of the Aggregate Industries.

First Look - September 2015


TOP NEWS
Vulcan Reports Q2 Gains

Vulcan Materials Co. announced results for the second quarter ending June 30, 2015. The company is reporting that total revenues increased $104 million, or 13 percent, to $895 million.

Summit Materials Makes Acquisition

Summit Materials Inc. has completed the acquisition of LeGrand Johnson Construction Co., a vertically integrated construction materials company.

Martin Marietta Sales Increases

Martin Marietta Materials Inc. is reporting consolidated net sales of $850.2 million compared with $601.9 million a year earlier, an increase of 41 percent, in the second quarter.


MSHA WATCH

In the wake of a deadly day in mining on Aug. 3 in which three miners lost their lives in separate incidents in Nevada, North Dakota and Virginia, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is stepping up enforcement efforts and intensifying outreach and education nationwide. In a conference call with industry stakeholders, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joseph A. Main expressed his concern over the alarming number of recent deaths. “In the past month alone, there have been five fatalities in the metal and nonmetal industry. Not since 2002 have three miners died in a single day in this mining sector. We cannot – we will not – accept this turn of events. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the miners who died in these tragic accidents,” said Main.


USGS STATS

An estimated 607 million metric tons (Mt) of total construction aggregates was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the second quarter of 2015, an increase of 3 percent compared with that of the second quarter of 2014, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). “The estimated production for consumption in the first six months of 2015 was 994 Mt, an increase of 5 percent compared with that of the same period of 2014,” said Jason Willett, USGS crushed stone commodity specialist.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS
  • Led by a strong jump in single-family production, nationwide housing starts inched up 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.206 million units in July, according to data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. This is the highest level since October 2007.
  • At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $629.4 billion, new construction starts in July were essentially unchanged from June’s pace, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. By major sector, nonresidential building showed slight improvement following its lackluster June performance, while residential building maintained the strengthening trend witnessed over the past several months.
  • Construction employment in July climbed to the highest level since February 2009, while the number of unemployed workers with construction experience shrank to a 14-year low, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America.

ENERGY

WTI crude oil futures price: 8/26/2015: $38.60/bbl, down $2.20 from week earlier; down $55.26 from year earlier.
Natural gas futures price: 8/26/2015: $2.693/mmBtu, down $0.023 from week earlier; down $1.218 from year earlier.
Retail heating oil price: 1/2/1900: $2.903 /gal, down $0.062 from week earlier; up $0 from year earlier.
Crude oil inventories: 8/21/2015: 450.8 mmbbl, down 5.5 mmbbl from week earlier; up 90.3 mmbbl from year earlier.
Weekly coal production: 8/15/2015: 18.295 million tons, up 0.065 million tons from week earlier; down 2.145 million tons from year earlier.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration