FIRST LOOK - JUNE 2017


TOP NEWS

Martin Marietta Off to Strong Start in 2017

Martin Marietta Materials Inc. reported strong results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. The company achieved record consolidated net sales of $791.7 million, an increase of 7.9 percent compared with $734.0 million in the prior-year’s first quarter.

Cemex to Build Aggregates Distribution Terminal

Cemex USA announced it is expanding its strong Southern California network with plans for a state-of-the-art rail-served distribution terminal in Los Angeles and a new aggregate loading system at its quarry in Victorville, Calif., to bring high-quality aggregates to metro Los Angeles and surrounding communities.

Vulcan Materials’ Revenues up 4 Percent

Vulcan Materials Co. announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. Net earnings were $45 million and Adjusted EBITDA was $149 million. Total revenues increased $33 million, or 4 percent, to $787 million.


MSHA WATCH

In the first three months of 2017, five miners died in accidents that occurred when they were working alone on mine property. To raise awareness of the potential dangers in doing so, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has launched an initiative to focus on the hazards miners may encounter when they work in areas away from others. The initiative calls upon MSHA inspectors and training specialists to engage miners and mine operators in “walk and talks” during regular inspection visits. The talks will emphasize accounting for all workers at all times and providing operators with best practices for working alone.


USGS STATS

The estimated U.S. output of construction sand and gravel produced and shipped for consumption in the fourth quarter of 2016 was 228 Mt, a decrease of 3 percent compared with that of the same period of 2015. The estimated annual output of construction sand and gravel produced for consumption in 2016 was 959 Mt, a slight increase compared with that of 2015.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

The value of new construction starts in April dropped 13 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $647.8 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The decline followed three straight months of gains, which saw total construction activity rising 20 percent from the lackluster amount reported back in December. Highway and bridge construction in April fell 10 percent.

Construction spending is at record levels for the second straight month in March, and is up 4.9 percent for the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2016, despite dipping slightly compared to February, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said many firms are eager to see details of the President’s pending infrastructure plan, which should boost construction demand.

Sales of newly built, single-family homes in April dropped for the first time in 2017, falling 11.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 569,000 units, 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 futures price: 5/23/2017: $51.47/barrels, up $2.81 from week earlier; up $3.39 from year earlier.
  • Natural gas futures price: 5/23/2017: $3.219/MMBtu, down $0.011 from week earlier; up $1.164 from year earlier.
  • Retail gasoline price: 5/22/2017: $2.399/gal., up $0.030 from week earlier; up $0.099 from year earlier.
  • Crude oil inventories: 5/19/2017: 516.3 million barrels, down 4.4 million barrels from week earlier; up 10.8 million barrels from year earlier.
  • Weekly coal production: 5/13/2017: 13.490 million tons, up 0.158 million tons from week earlier, up 2.017 million tons from year earlier.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration