This is our AGG1 show issue, and it kicks off what can only be described as a year of expanding possibilities for aggregates producers.
The passage of the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act has positioned the aggregates industry for solid growth over the next five years. However, before producers can take advantage of that growth, they will have to make sure that plants are primed for production and the labor is in place to meet current needs.
As far as making sure plants are primed for production, there are three golden opportunities over the next year for aggregates producers to kick the tires on new iron or bolt-on new components to an existing plant. AGG1 is March 22-26 in Nashville; MINExpo is Sept. 26-28 in Las Vegas; and then the queen mother of all shows, ConExpo-Con/Agg, is March 7-11, 2017, in Las Vegas.
According to our Benchmark 2016 Survey, producers are gearing up to spend some money. Approximately 30 percent of respondents to this year’s survey planned to spend $1-5 million this year, that is up from 21.2 percent last year. Just under 30 percent (28.8 percent) of the survey group plans to spend less than $500,000. But a healthy 22 percent planned to spend $500,000-$1 million.
Producers are focused on spending that money on equipment upgrades, identified by 69.5 percent of survey respondents, up from 63.6 percent last year; while 64.4 percent are focused on new equipment, up from 57.9 percent last year. Fewer producers are looking for a used option this year though: 28.4 percent said they planned to consider used equipment in 2015; only 20.3 percent said this year they plan to explore that route.
Other types of equipment on the “want” list are plant additions (38.9 percent), technology upgrades (35.5 percent), mine development (23.7 percent) and, of special interest: 27.1 percent of those surveyed plan to invest in new plants, up from 17 percent in 2015.
It’s going to be an exciting time to be in the aggregates industry over the next 12 months. Take advantage of it.