FIRST LOOK - AUGUST 2018


TOP NEWS

Sand Book Author Blasted

In advance of a new book getting ready to hit the market, “The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization,” the L.A. Times allowed its author, Vince Beiser, to write an opinion piece, which was blasted by industry professionals.

Hillhead a Success

Officials from Hillhead 2018 in Buxton, England, said there was a 6 percent increase in visitor numbers for opening day, and an 11 percent increase on the second day of the show. A total of 19,687 unique visitors attended this year’s event, surpassing the show’s previous attendance record set in 2005.

Vulcan Succession Plan Announced

Vulcan Materials Co. announced a succession plan for the chief financial officer position. The company has named Suzanne H. Wood as senior vice president and chief financial officer, effective Sept. 1. Wood will succeed John R. McPherson, currently executive vice president, chief financial and strategy officer.


MSHA WATCH

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on June 13, a 65-year-old truck driver with four years of experience was fatally injured when his truck traveled over a berm and into an impoundment of water. Divers recovered the victim in 20 ft. of water. This is the fifth fatality reported in calendar year 2018 in metal and nonmetal mining. As of this date in 2018, there were four fatalities reported in metal and nonmetal mining. This is the second Powered Haulage fatality in 2018. There were two Powered Haulage fatalities during the same period in 2017.


USGS STATS

An estimated 256 Mt of crushed stone was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the first quarter of 2018, a slight decrease compared with that of the same period of 2017. The estimated annual output produced for consumption in 2017 was 1.35 Gt, a slight decrease compared with that of 2016, according to Jason Willett, crushed stone commodity specialist for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). 


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $783.6 billion, new construction starts in May advanced 15 percent from April, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The increase follows a 12 percent decline in April, and shows total construction activity reaching the highest level reported over the past eight months.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that in May 2018, construction spending during May 2018 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,309.5 billion, 0.4 percent (±1.3 percent) above the revised April estimate of $1,304.5 billion.

Total housing starts rose 5 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.35 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. This is the highest housing starts report since July 2007.


ENERGY PRICES

  • WTI crude oil futures: 7/18/2018: $68.76/barrel, down $1.62 from week earlier; up $22.36 from year earlier.
  • Diesel fuel: 7/16/2018: $3.289/gal., down $0.004 from week earlier; up $0.748 from year earlier.
  • Electricity: 4/20/2018: Average price to industrial customers 6.58 cents/kilowatt hour; down from 6.61 cents/kilowatt hour a year earlier.
  • Natural gas futures: 7/18/2018: $2.721/MMBtu, down $0.108 from week earlier; down $0.367 from year earlier.
  • Propane: 3/26/2018: $2.480/gal., up from $2.390/gal. a year earlier.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration