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FIRST LOOK - APRIL 2017


Oldcastle Buys Mulzer

Mulzer Crushed Stone has been purchased by Oldcastle Materials. Oldcastle also concluded several smaller stone, aggregate and asphalt transactions in Connecticut, Minnesota, Washington and Montreal that complement the company’s South, North, Central and West Divisions, along with CRH Canada.

Rock Products Seminar a Success

At the recent ConExpo-Con/Agg show in Las Vegas, Rock Products sponsored a very successful educational session entitled “Frac Sand: How Technology and Market Dynamics will Drive Future Success.”

ConExpo-Con/Agg a Buying, Selling Market

ConExpo-Con/Agg and IFPE 2017 attendees came to Las Vegas ready to buy as exhibitors said they had enjoyed tremendous sales activity throughout the week. As multiple construction and manufacturing industry segments converged on the Las Vegas Convention Center from March 7-11, 2017, manufacturers and customers voiced widespread economic optimism.


MSHA WATCH

The Mine Safety and Health Administration issued a “Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety Alert Preventing Fall of Person Accidents.” In the past decade, 29 miners have died at metal and nonmetal mines when they fell from the area where they worked, such as heavy equipment, ladders and conveyor walkways. The agency suggested a number of Best Practices to prevent injuries and fatalities from falls.


USGS STATS

According to figures from the U.S. Geological Survey, an estimated 556 million metric tons of total construction aggregates was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2016, a decrease of 4 percent compared with that of the same period of 2015. The estimated annual output of construction aggregates produced for consumption in 2016 was 2.33 billion metric tons, an increase of 3 percent compared with that of 2015, according to Jason Willet, U.S. Geological Survey crushed stone commodity specialist.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced that construction spending during January 2017 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,180.3 billion, 1.0 percent (±1.0 percent) below the revised December estimate of $1,192.2 billion. The January figure is 3.1 percent (±1.5 percent) above the January 2016 estimate of $1,144.9 billion.

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $706.4 billion, new construction starts in February rose 2 percent from the previous month, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. This was the second straight monthly increase, following a 15 percent hike in January, as construction starts regained the upward track following four consecutive monthly declines to close out 2016.

Our country’s infrastructure received a nearly-failing D+ grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers. The report card was released as the aggregates and construction industries gathered in Las Vegas for the 2017 National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association Annual Convention and ConExpo-Con/Agg.


ENERGY
  • WTI crude oil futures price: 3/21/2017: $47.34/barrels, down $0.38 from week earlier; up $7.43 from year earlier.
  • Natural gas futures price: 3/21/2017: $3.093/MMBtu, up $0.155 from week earlier; up $1.265 from year earlier.
  • Rerail heating oil price: 3/20/2017: $2.601 /gal., down $0.014 from week earlier; up $0.469 from year earlier.
  • Crude oil inventories: 3/17/2017: 533.1 million barrels, up 5.0 million barrels from week earlier; up 31.6 million barrels from year earlier.
  • Weekly coal production: 3/11/2017: 14.703 million tons, down 1.022 million tons from week earlier; up 1.474 million tons from year earlier.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration