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FIRST LOOK - JUNE 2020


TOP NEWS

Summit Materials’ Aggregates Volumes Increase

Summit Materials Inc. reported that net revenue increased by 11.9% to $342.4 million in the first quarter 2020, versus $306.0 million in the prior-year period. The improvement in net revenue was primarily attributable to organic volume and price growth in ready-mix concrete and aggregates.

Martin Marietta Reports Strong First Quarter

Martin Marietta Materials Inc. reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2020. Total revenues were $958.2 million, versus $939 million in the first quarter of 2019. First-quarter operating results demonstrated the strength of overall demand, most notably in Colorado, Iowa, Indiana and Maryland, against a challenging prior-year comparison.

Vulcan Revenues Top $1 Billion

Vulcan Materials Co. reported first-quarter total revenue of $1.05 billion, versus $996.5 million for the same period in 2019. First-quarter Aggregates segment sales increased 4%, and gross profit increased 5% to $194 million, or $4.31 per ton.


MSHA WATCH

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on May 2, a miner entered a dredged sand and gravel bin through a lower access hatch to clear an obstruction. The miner was clearing the blockage with a bar when the material inside the bin fell and engulfed him. The fatality took place at Enon Sand & Gravel, Clark, Ohio. This is the seventh fatality reported in 2020, and the second classified as “Handling Material.”


USGS STATS

The USGS has released its first-ever map of where the mineral pyrrhotite may occur in the contiguous United States. This research was mandated by Congress in the FY2019 appropriations bill for the USGS and was supported by the USGS Mineral Resources Program. Pyrrhotite, a mineral of concern for the construction industry, consists of iron and sulfur, and when exposed to water and air, it can break down to form secondary minerals that expand and crack concrete, causing concrete structures, like home foundations, to fail.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Total construction starts declined 25% from March to April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $572.2 billion as COVID-19 and the economic recession hit the construction sector. In April, nonresidential building starts fell 37% from March, while residential dropped 25%. The decline in nonbuilding construction starts was more tepid, falling just 5% due to strong activity in streets and bridges.

Reflecting the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, total housing starts decreased 30.2% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 891,000 units, according to a report from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that construction spending during March 2020 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,360.5 billion, 0.9% (±0.8%) above the revised February estimate of $1,348.4 billion. The March figure is 4.7% (±1.3%) above the March 2019 estimate of $1,299.1 billion. 


ENERGY

  • WTI Crude Oil Futures Price:5/22/2020: $33.25/barrel, up $3.82 from week earlier; down $24.66 from a year earlier.
  • Natural Gas Futures Price:5/22/2020: $1.731/MMBtu, up $0.085 from week earlier; down $0.847 from a year earlier.
  • Wholesale Propane Price:3/30/2020: $0.421/gal., down $0.25 from week earlier; down from $0.776/gal. a year earlier.
  • Electricity:2/20/2020: Average price to industrial customers 6.42 cents/kilowatt hour; down from 6.69 cents/kilowatt hour a year earlier.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration