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FIRST LOOK - APRIL 2018


TOP NEWS

AGG1 Show a Success

The 2018 AGG1 Academy & Expo, co-located with the World of Asphalt, concluded a successful run, March 6-8, with a very positive atmosphere, as attendees and exhibitors conducted business and discussed issues affecting future growth

GCAA Event a Hit

The Georgia Construction Aggregate Association recently held its annual Management Workshop at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta. A record number of more than 600 plant management and industry executives turned out to hear programs built around the themes of safety, education, community relations and sustainability. 

NSSGA Convention a Win

The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) held its annual convention just prior to the AGG1 show in Houston, March 3-5. Michael W. Johnson, IOM, NSSGA president and CEO challenged attendees to take lessons learned from the convention to improve their own skills and businesses, and become advocates for Infrastructure for America.


MSHA WATCH

The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) recently met with MSHA Administrator David Zatezalo, deputy secretaries and a senior advisor to discuss the aggregates industry’s demonstrated commitment to safety and compliance. Laura O’Neill-Kaumo, NSSGA senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs, and Joseph Casper, NSSGA vice president of safety, expressed a desire to help update outdated equipment standards and communicate best practices on seat belt use and fall protection. Zatezalo reiterated his desire for uniform enforcement across aggregates operations.


USGS STATS

An estimated 572 million metric tons (Mt) of total construction aggregates was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2017, an increase of 6 percent compared with that of the same period of 2016, according to Jason Willett, USGS crushed stone commodity specialist. The estimated total output of construction aggregates produced for consumption in 2017 was 2.26 billion metric tons (Gt,) about the same as that of 2016. 


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Association of Equipment Manufacturers President Dennis Slater expressed his disappointment after steel tariffs were announced by President Trump. “The equipment-manufacturing industry is profoundly disappointed at President Trump’s actions to advance import tariffs on steel and aluminum. These ‘Trump Tariffs’ will put U.S. equipment manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage, risk undoing the strides our economy has made due to tax reform, and ultimately pose a threat to American workers’ jobs.”

Construction spending during January 2018 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,262.8 billion, nearly the same as (±1.0 percent) the revised December estimate of $1,262.7 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The January figure is 3.2 percent (±1.3 percent) above the January 2017 estimate of $1,223.5 billion.

The Dodge Momentum Index increased 0.5 percent in February to 146.9 (2000=100) from the revised January reading of 146.2. The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.


ENERGY
  • WTI crude oil futures price: 3/19/2018: $62.06/barrel, up $0.70 from week earlier; up $13.28 from year earlier.
  • Diesel fuel prices: /19/2018: $2.972/gal., down $0.004 from week earlier; up $0.433 from year earlier.
  • Electricity prices: 3/20/2018: Average price to industrial customers 6.63 cents/kilowatt hour; down from 6.67 cents/kilowatt hour a year earlier.
  • natural gas futures prices: 3/19/2018: $2.651/MMBtu, down $0.127 from week earlier, down $0.297 from year earlier.
  • propane prices: 3/12/2018: $2.500/gal., up from $2.410/gal. a year earlier.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration