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FIRST LOOK - DECEMBER 2018


TOP NEWS

Martin Marietta’s Record Results

Martin Marietta Materials Inc. reported record results for the third quarter ended Sept. 30. The company is reporting total revenues of just over $1.2 billion versus just under $1.1 billion for the year-ago period.

Luck Stone Expands in Southeast

Luck Stone, the crushed stone and aggregates division of Luck Companies, has significantly broadened its footprint into new areas of the southeastern U.S. following the acquisitions of Stephens Industries in Atlanta and Willow Oak Quarry in Kershaw County, S.C.

Vulcan Materials Strong in Q3

Vulcan Materials Co. announced results for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2018. Third quarter earnings from continuing operations were $180 million, or $1.34 per diluted share. Net earnings increased 65 percent to $179 million.


MSHA WATCH

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on Oct. 2, a 40-year-old miner with 20 years of experience was fatally injured when struck by stemming sand ejected from a borehole. While conducting a blasting operation in a new vertical raise, a contract foreman was attempting to clean out a previously blasted vertical borehole with high-pressure air. A sudden release of energy forced stemming sand from the bottom of the borehole, striking the miner.


USGS STATS

An estimated 393 Mt of crushed stone was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the second quarter of 2018, an increase of 7 percent compared with that of the second quarter of 2017. The five leading states, in descending order of production for consumption, were Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina and Ohio. Their combined total production for consumption in the second quarter of 2018 was 129 Mt and represented 33 percent of the U.S. total. 


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

New construction starts in October climbed 21 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $864.0 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The substantial increase followed three straight months of decline, during which the pace of total construction starts fell 22 percent from the exceptionally strong volume reported back in June. 

Construction spending hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of a record $1.329 trillion and grew 5.5 percent for nine months of 2018 combined, with continued year-to-date gains for major public and private categories, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. 

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) Market Intelligence Group forecast for cement consumption over the next two years, shows less growth compared with 2018. This year’s rate of change is 2.9 percent; growth recedes to 2.6 percent in 2019 and to 1.6 percent in 2020. 


ENERGY

  • WTI crude oil futures price: 11/19/2018: $56.76/barrel, down $3.17 from week earlier; up $0.21 from year earlier.
  • Natural gas futures price: 11/19/2018: $4.700/MMBtu, up $0.912 from week earlier; up $1.603 from year earlier.
  • Retail gas price: 11/19/2018: $2.611/gal., down $0.075 from week earlier; up $0.043 from year earlier.
  • Diesel gas price: 11/19/2018: $3.282/gal.; down $0.035 from week earlier; up $0.370 from year earlier.
  • Electricity: 8/20/2018: Average price to industrial customers 7.24 cents/kilowatt hour; up from 7.22 cents/kilowatt hour a year earlier.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration