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FIRST LOOK - JULY 2017


TOP NEWS

Vulcan Materials Makes Two Acquisitions

Vulcan Materials Co. acquired Aggregates USA LLC, for $900 million in cash, and Petaluma, Calif.-based Shamrock Materials, a six-decade-old company and one of the largest suppliers of concrete and paving materials to San Francisco’s North Bay area.

Deere Acquires Wirtgen Group

Deere & Co. signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Wirtgen Group. The purchase price for the equity is EUR 4.357 billion in an all-cash transaction. The total transaction value is approximately EUR 4.6 billion ($5.2 billion based on current exchange rates), including the assumption of net debt and other consideration. 

Lehigh Hanson Buys Saunders Companies

Lehigh Hanson Inc. announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire all operating assets of the Saunders Companies. These assets include 13 fixed ready mixed concrete plants, two portable ready mixed concrete plants and nine aggregate operations. 


USGS STATS

The estimated U.S. output of construction aggregates produced and shipped for consumption in the first quarter of 2017 was 426 million metric tons (Mt), a decrease of 3 percent compared with that of the same period of 2016. The revised estimated annual output produced for consumption in 2016 was 2.30 billion metric tons (Gt), a slight increase compared with the annual output for 2015. This was previously reported as 2.33 Gt.


MSHA WATCH

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced it is extending the effective date of the agency’s final rule on Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines until Oct. 2, 2017. This extension will allow additional time for MSHA to provide training and compliance assistance for its stakeholders. MSHA is developing a variety of compliance assistance materials to assist the industry, which the agency will make available to stakeholders and post on its website. MSHA claims the extension will enable the agency to hold informational meetings and focus on compliance assistance visits at various locations around the country. Additional time will also allow MSHA to train its inspectors to assure consistent enforcement.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $651.2 billion, new construction starts in May increased a slight 1 percent from April, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Public works construction bounced back 30 percent from its subdued April amount, and highway and bridge construction in May grew 5 percent.

Construction spending during April 2017 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,218.5 billion, 1.4 percent (±1.0 percent) below the revised March estimate of $1,235.5 billion. The April figure is 6.7 percent (±1.5 percent) above the April 2016 estimate of $1,142.5 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sales of newly built, single-family homes in May rose 2.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units after an upwardly revised April reading, 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 priceL 6/22/2017: $42.74/barrels, down $1.72 from week earlier; down $6.39 from year earlier.
  • Natural gas futures price: 6/22/2017: $2.894/MMBtu, down $0.162 from week earlier; up $0.217 from year earlier.
  • weekly coal production: 6/17/2017: 15.794 million tons, up 0.279 million tons from week earlier; up 2.320 million tons from year earlier.
  • natural gas inventories: 6/16/2017: 2,770 Bcf, up 61 Bcf from week earlier; down 324 Bcf from year earlier.
  • crude oil inventories: 6/16/2017: 509.1 million barrels, down 2.5 million barrels from week earlier; up 9.1 million barrels from year earlier.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration