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FIRST LOOK - OCTOBER 2018


TOP NEWS

Cemex Makes Acquisition

Cemex USA acquired a Blue Star Materials II aggregates operation in Chico, Texas, positioning the company for expansion in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The 122-acre site and quarry plant is about 45 miles northwest of Fort Worth in Wise County and has more than 25 years of limestone reserves.

U.S. Concrete Expands in Texas

U.S. Concrete Inc. expanded its aggregates business in Texas with the acquisition of Leon River Aggregate Materials LLC, a sand and gravel producer based in Proctor, Texas. The acquisition adds more than 400 acres of land with reserves to the company’s operations and a state-of-the-art processing plant to achieve the highest efficiencies.

Superior Holds Dealer Event

Superior Industries hosted 110 representatives from its dealer network at Ignite18, its first on-site distributor Open House. The meeting took place at the company’s Morris, Minn., corporate headquarters.


MSHA WATCH

The Mine Safety and Health Administration’s Assistant Secretary Mine Safety And Health David G. Zatazalo wrote an exclusive op-ed for Rock Products, stating that the category of powered haulage – including large surface equipment and belt conveyors – are responsible for an inordinate number of fatal accidents. To encourage input on how to prevent powered haulage accidents, MSHA has issued a formal Request for Information. Comments will be accepted until Dec. 24, 2018, at www.regulations.gov.


USGS STATS

Frac sand producers will be interested to know that the Eagle Ford play in Texas contains estimated means of 8.5 billion barrels of oil, 66 trillion cu. ft. of natural gas, and 1.9 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, according to a new assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey. This estimate consists of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources in continuous accumulations. “Texas is so well-known for its history of oil and gas production that it’s almost synonymous with petroleum,” said Dr. Jim Reilly, USGS Director. “Texas continues to remain in the forefront of our nation’s energy supply chain with remarkable increases in production and reserves due to the revolutionary unconventional techniques used to release previously unrecoverable resources.”


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

New construction starts in July fell 9 percent from the elevated pace reported in June, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The latest month’s decline followed strong gains for total construction starts during the previous two months. Highway and bridge construction grew 8 percent.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that construction spending in July was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,315.4 billion, 0.1 percent (±1.5 percent) above the revised June estimate of $1,314.2 billion. The July figure is 5.8 percent (±1.8 percent) above the July 2017 estimate of $1,242.8 billion.

The Dodge Momentum Index fell 2.9 percent in August to 164.1 (2000=100) from the revised July reading of 169.0. 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: 9/18/2018: $69.85/barrel, up $0.60 from week earlier; up $19.94 from year earlier.
  • Diesel fuel: 9/17/2018: $3.268 gal., down $0.010 from week earlier; up $0.477 from year earlier.
  • Electricity: 6/20/2018: Average price to industrial customers 7.18 cents/kilowatt hour; down from 7.22 cents/kilowatt hour a year earlier.
  • Natural gas futures: 9/18/2018: $2.933/MMBtu, up $0.105 from week earlier; down $0.213 from year earlier.
  • Propane stocks: 9/7/18: U.S. propane/propylene stocks increased by 1.2 million barrels last week to 74.6 million barrels, 9.0 million barrels (10.8 percent) lower than the five-year (2013-2017) average inventory level for this same time of year.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration