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FIRST LOOK - DECEMBER 2017


Martin Marietta Dips in Third Quarter

Third-quarter 2017 total revenues for the Building Materials business, which includes the aggregates, cement, ready mixed concrete, and asphalt and paving product lines, were $1.024 billion, down slightly from $1.039 billion.

Summit Materials Rises in Third Quarter

Organic aggregates sales volumes increased 2.6 percent in the third quarter 2017, due mainly to increased demand in north Texas, Utah, Vancouver and additional markets in the Southeast.

Vulcan Up in Third Quarter

According to the company, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma negatively affected more than half of the company’s operational footprint in the third quarter.


MSHA WATCH

David Zatezalo was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Assistant Secretary of Labor overseeing the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) by a vote of 52-46 on Nov. 15, 2017. During his confirmation process, Zatezalo told the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions that he would seek more consistent enforcement from agency officials and improved use of technology to boost safety and focus on “safer mining and health behaviors.” As safety is the top priority for aggregates operations everywhere, the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) said it looks forward to working with Zatezalo and continuing to educate administration officials at MSHA on the aggregates industry’s commitment to safety.


USGS STATS

According to an advance release of the latest edition of its Minerals Yearbook, in 2014, 1,045 aggregates operations reported the monetary value of their production with an average unit value of $10.74 per metric ton. In 2015, 1,032 operations reported the monetary value of their production with an average unit value of $11.31 per metric ton, which was an increase of 5 percent compared with that of 2014. Leading U.S. producers reported that prices increased by 7 percent to 8 percent in 2015, which exceeded the historic average for year-on-year increases.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

New construction starts in October dropped 9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $742.9 billion, pulling back after a 14 percent jump in September, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Over the past two months the pattern for total construction starts was shaped by nonresidential building, which fell 30 percent in October after soaring 37 percent in September, despite some large projects.

Construction spending in September totaled $1.219 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, an increase of 0.3 percent from the August total and up 2 percent from a year earlier, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sales of newly built, single-family homes in August fell 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000 units from an upwardly revised July reading, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. 


ENERGY

  • WTI Crude Oil: (dollars per barrel)

    $49.50 (2017), $51.02 (2018 predicted)

  • Brent Crude Oil: (dollars per barrel)

    $23.01 (2017), $55.61 (2018 predicted)

  • Gasoline: (dollars per gal.)

    $2.40 (2017) $2.45 (2018 predicted)

  • Diesel: (dollars per gal.)

    $2.65 (2017), $2.83 (2018 predicted)

  • Heating Oil: (dollars per gal.)

    $2.51 (2017), $2.71 (2018 predicted)

  • Natural Gas: (dollars per thousand cu. ft.)

    $11.07 (2017) $10.92 (2018 predicted)

  • Electricity: (cents per kilowatt hour)

    $12.90 (2017) $13.24 (2018 predicted)

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration