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FIRST LOOK - JANUARY 2019


TOP NEWS

Cemex Hosts Quarry Quest 5k

Cemex USA held the first-ever Quarry Quest 5k race at its FEC Quarry in Miami to support nearly 38,000 South Florida Boy Scouts. Close to 350 runners and walkers participated in a timed race, following a course that weaved through FEC Quarry.

NSSGA, NISA Create Industrial Sand Division

The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) announced an agreement with the National Industrial Sand Association to create a new Industrial Sand Division of NSSGA.

National Miners Day Celebrated

Dec. 6 was National Miners Day; a day designated by Congress to honor the contributions and sacrifices of miners both past and present. This day was created as a day of reflection, when we can show appreciation for the sacrifices, honor the accomplishments and remember the tragedies that these hard-working individuals experience. 


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 694 million metric tons of total construction aggregates was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the third quarter of 2018, an increase of 5 percent compared with that of the third quarter of 2017. The estimated production for consumption in the first nine months of 2018 was 1.77 billion metric tons, an increase of 5 percent compared with that of the same period of 2017, according to Jason Willett, crushed stone commodity specialist for the U.S. Geological Survey.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $789.3 billion, new construction starts in November decreased 7 percent from October’s elevated amount, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Most of the total construction decline in the latest month was the result of nonresidential building pulling back 15 percent after its 43 percent surge in October. Highway and bridge construction fell 33 percent.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that construction spending during October 2018 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,308.8 billion, 0.1 percent (±1.5 percent) below the revised September estimate of $1,310.8 billion. The October figure is 4.9 percent (±1.6 percent) above the October 2017 estimate of $1,247.5 billion.

The pace of single-family housing starts declined for the third consecutive month as housing affordability concerns continue to weigh on the home construction market, according to joint data released from the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development.


ENERGY

  • WTI crude oil futures price: 12/19/2018: $47.20/barrel, down $3.95 from week earlier; down $10.26 from year earlier.
  • Natural gas futures price: 12/19/2018: $3.726/MMBtu, down $0.410 from week earlier; up $1.034 from year earlier.
  • Retail gasoline price: 12/17/2018: $2.369/gal., down $0.052 from week earlier; down $0.081 from year earlier.
  • Retail diesel price: 12/17/2018: $3.121/gal.; down $0.040 from week earlier; up $0.220 from year earlier.
  • Electricity: 9/20/2018: Average price to industrial customers 7.09 cents/kilowatt hour; down from 7.17 cents/kilowatt hour a year earlier.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration