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FIRST LOOK - NOVEMBER 2019


TOP NEWS

Michigan Dispute

Michigan’s Office of the Auditor General claims that the Michigan Department of Transportation spent a questionable $100,000 on a study of the state’s gravel resources influenced by the Michigan aggregates industry, a fact disputed by the Michigan Aggregates Association.

California Dreaming

Trump administration officials threatened to withhold billions of dollars in federal highway funding from California, arguing that the state has not shown what steps it is taking to improve its air quality.

Cemex Go Quarry

Cemex is taking the next step leading the digital transformation of the building materials industry with Cemex Go Quarry Link, a program designed to improve product pick up and maximize efficiency for aggregates customers.


MSHA WATCH

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that a miner who fell from a man basket when the weldment securing the basket to the shovel failed on June 15, 2018, died of his injuries on June 27, 2019. MSHA attributes fatalities to the year in which the injury occurred, so this incident is included in the 2018 tally. This incident brings the total of fatal incidents in 2018 to 28, tying with 2017 for the second-lowest annual fatality count, according to Grant Vaught, Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor.


USGS STATS

An estimated 680 million metric tons of total construction aggregates was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the second quarter of 2019, an increase of 3% compared with that of the second quarter of 2018, according to Jason Willett, crushed stone commodity specialist for the U.S. Geological Survey.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that construction spending during August 2019 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,287.3 billion, 0.1% (±1.2%) above the revised July estimate of $1,285.6 billion. The August figure is 1.9% (±1.8%) below the August 2018 estimate of $1,312.2 billion. During the first eight months of this year, construction spending amounted to $851.3 billion, 2.3% (±1.2%) below the $871.3 billion for the same period in 2018.

“Construction sand and gravel prices are rising strongly. The BLS withholds the data for U.S. South. However, looking at other regions and the escalation at national level, we can conclude that prices are rising strongly in the U.S. South as well,” said Deni Koenhemsi, senior economist at IHS Markit.


ENERGY
  • WTI Crude Oil Futures: 10/22/2019: $54.16/barrel, up $1.35 from week earlier; down $15.01 from year earlier.
  • Natural Gas Futures: 10/22/2019: $2.272/MMBtu, down $0.067 from week earlier; down $0.866 from year earlier.
  • Retail Gasoline: 10/21/2019: $2.638/gal., up $0.009 from week earlier; down $0.203 from year earlier.
  • Retail Diesel: 10/21/2019: $3.050/gal., down $0.001 from week earlier; down $0.330 from year earlier.
  • Electricity: 7/20/2019: Average price to industrial customers 7.18 cents/kilowatt hour; down from 7.34 cents/kilowatt hour from year earlier.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration