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First Look - September 2016



IronDirect unveiled its brand and business model to the aggregates, mining and construction industries. IronDirect is “a first-of-its-kind platform for buyers of heavy construction equipment and parts,” according to the company, and can “reduce equipment costs by up to 50 percent.”

Martin Marietta Sales Surge

Martin Marietta Materials Inc. reported results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2016, including record net sales, gross profit and net earnings. Consolidated net sales for the quarter was $915.4 million, compared to $850.2 million in the second quarter of 2015.

Vulcan Aggregates Shipments Up

Vulcan Materials Co. announced results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2016. Second quarter total revenues, compared with prior year’s second quarter, increased $62 million, or 7 percent, to $957 million. Gross profit increased $58 million, or 25 percent, to $292 million.


An estimated 646 metric tons (Mt) of total construction aggregates was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the second quarter of 2016, an increase of 6 percent compared with that of the second quarter of 2015, according to statistics from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). “The estimated production for consumption in the first six months of 2016 was 1.09 billion metric tons, an increase of 10 percent compared with that of the same period of 2015,” said Jason Willet, crushed stone commodity specialist.


Construction spending decreased in June for the third month in a row but most segments posted solid increases in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced that construction spending during June 2016 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,133.5 billion, 0.6 percent (±1.3 percent) below the revised May estimate of $1,140.9 billion. The June figure is 0.3 percent (±1.6 percent above the June 2015 estimate of $1,130.5 billion.

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $586.3 billion, new construction starts in July fell 2 percent from the previous month, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. A steep drop by electric utilities pulled down the nonbuilding construction sector, which in turn contributed to the slight decline for total construction starts.

Nationwide housing starts rose 2.1 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.21 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Overall permit issuance inched down 0.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.15 million.


The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) agreed to a longer comment period on two regulatory items. One proposed regulation would require workplace examinations before work begins and operators to document any hazards found, and the other is MSHA’s request for information on exposure to diesel exhaust in underground operations, according to the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association.


  • WTI crude oil futures price

    8/29/2016: $46.98/barrels, down $0.07 from week earlier; up $1.76 from year earlier.

  • Natural gas futures price

    8/29/2016: $2.853/MMBtu, up $0.174 from week earlier; up $0.138 from year earlier.


    8/29/2016: $2.237/gal., up $0.044 from week earlier; down $0.273 from year earlier.


    8/29/2016: $2.409/gal., up $0.039 from week earlier; down $0.105 from year earlier.

  • Weekly coal production

    8/20/2016: 15.951 million tons, up 0.113 million tons from week earlier; down 2.885 million tons from year earlier.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration