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FIRST LOOK - December 2016


TOP NEWS

Martin Marietta Sets Records

Martin Marietta Materials Inc. reported results for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2016. The company set new records for consolidated net sales, gross profit and net earnings, even as aggregates product line shipments to the infrastructure market, which comprised 42 percent of quarterly volumes, decreased 7.2 percent. Infrastructure shipments in the third quarter were impacted by significant rainfall and project start-up delays,

Vulcan Profit Increases

Vulcan Materials Co. announced results for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2016. Total revenues decreased $30 million, or 3 percent, to $1,008 million. Gross profit increased $13 million, or 4 percent, to $304 million. The company said its third-quarter results reflect continued strong earnings growth and margin expansion despite lower shipment levels.

Trump and Infrastructure

Now that Donald Trump has secured victory in the U.S. presidential election, what does that mean for infrastructure investment and aggregates industry growth? Trump is calling for “a bold, visionary plan for a cost-effective system of roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, railroads, ports and waterways, and pipelines in the proud tradition of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who championed the interstate highway system.”


MSHA WATCH

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration issued its annual Winter Alert message. In it, the agency reminds mine operators and miners to pay special attention to seasonal changes that may affect both surface and underground work environments. The campaign – which runs through March 2017 – emphasizes increased vigilance and adherence to safety principles during the colder months.


USGS STATS

In 2015, industrial sand and gravel valued at about $8.3 billion was produced by 230 companies from 335 operations in 35 states, according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s latest Mineral Commodity Survey. The value of production of industrial sand and gravel in 2015 remained unchanged over the previous year. Leading states were, in order of tonnage produced were Wisconsin, Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Ohio, North Carolina and Louisiana.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS
  • The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce reported that construction spending in September totaled $1.150 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, down 0.4 percent the month before and down 0.2 percent from the September 2015 level. The year-to-date total for January through September 2016 compared to the first nine months of 2015 remains positive, with an overall increase of 4.4 percent.
  • New construction starts in October decreased 4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $678.9 billion, settling back from the elevated amount that was reported in September, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Nonresidential building retreated from its brisk September pace, which was this sector’s strongest volume so far in 2016. 
  • Led by impressive gains in both single-family and multifamily production, nationwide housing starts surged 25.5 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.32 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department.

ENERGY
  • WTI crude oil futures price: 11/28/2016: $47.08/barrels, down $0.41 from week earlier; up $5.37 from year earlier.
  • Natural gas futures price: 11/28/2016: $3.232/MMBtu, up $0.282 from week earlier; up $1.020 from year earlier.
  • Retail Gasoline Price: 11/28/2016: $2.154/gal., down $0.001 from week earlier; up $0.095 from year earlier.
  • Retail Diesel Price: 11/28/2016: $2.420/gal., down $0.001 from week earlier; down $0.001 from year earlier.
  • Weekly coal production: 11/19/2016: 17.232 million tons, up 0.462 million tons from week earlier; up 1.067 million tons from year earlier.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration