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FIRST LOOK - FEBRUARY 2016


TOP NEWS
Vulcan Launches Customer Service Website

Vulcan Materials Co. is empowering customers to take direct control of their account with the launch of MyVulcan.com, a new, online customer service center that allows customers to view tickets and orders, track orders and pay bills online.

HeidelbergCement Focuses on Aggregates Improvement 

HeidelbergCement has started a “continuous improvement” program called Aggregates-CI in order to continuously optimize the operational and commercial working processes at its aggregates operations.

Stoneco Donates Former Quarry 

An Oldcastle Materials company, Stoneco, donated a 262-acre former sand and gravel quarry near Ann Arbor, Mich., to Ducks Unlimited to support wildlife conservation efforts.


MSHA WATCH

Preliminary data released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) indicate that 28 miners died in 2015 in work-related accidents at the nation’s mines, down from 45 in 2014. The figure represents the lowest number of mining deaths ever recorded and the first year that mining deaths dropped below 30. Eleven of the 28 deaths occurred in coal mines. Of the 17 deaths in metal and nonmetal mining, Nevada led with four, followed by Missouri with two, and one each in California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The leading cause of death in these mines was machinery accidents, which led to five deaths, followed by falling materials that killed four miners.


USGS STATS

An estimated 406 Mt of crushed stone was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the third quarter of 2015, an increase of 7 percent compared with that of the third quarter of 2014. The estimated production for consumption in the first nine months of 2015 was 991 Mt, an increase of 6 percent compared with that of the same period of 2014, said USGS Crushed Stone Commodity Specialist Jason Willett.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS
  • The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced that construction spending during November 2015 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,122.5 billion, 0.4 percent (±1.5 percent) below the revised October estimate of $1,127.0 billion. The November figure is 10.5 percent (±1.8 percent) above the November 2014 estimate of $1,016.1 billion.
  • New construction starts in December advanced 4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $591.6 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The December gain follows a 5 percent decline in November and brings total construction activity back close to the amount that was reported in October.
  • Global sales of construction equipment are forecast to grow 3.9 per cent in unit terms in 2016, to 760,508 machines, according to specialist economic forecasting and market research consultant, Off-Highway Research.

ENERGY

WTI crude oil futures price: 1/21/2016: $29.53/bbl, down $1.67 from week earlier; down $18.25 from year earlier.
Natural gas futures price: 1/21/2016: $2.140/mmBtu, down $0.001 from week earlier; down $0.834 from year earlier.
Natural gas inventories: 1/15/2016: 3,297 Bcf; down 178 Bcf from week earlier; up 629 Bcf from year earlier.
Crude oil inventories: 1/15/2016: 486.5 mmbbl, up 4.0 mmbbl from week earlier; up 88.7 mmbbl from year earlier.
Weekly coal production: 1/16/2016: 13.321 million tons, down 0.084 million tons from week earlier; down 6.284 million tons from year earlier.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration