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FIRST LOOK - AUGUST 2019


TOP NEWS

Mississippi Lime to Acquire Southern Lime

Mississippi Lime Co., a portfolio company of HBM Holdings, announced it has executed a definitive agreement to acquire the Calera, Ala., lime business of Covia, operating historically as Southern Lime. 

NSSGA Announces New Seat Belt Safety Initiative

The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association announced a winner in naming its seat belt safety campaign, which will now be titled “Why risk it? Just click it!” The campaign’s focus is to remind the aggregate industry’s workforce of the importance of wearing seat belts on the job.

Ross Island Scores Dredging Contract

Ross Island Sand & Gravel Co., Portland, Ore., was awarded an $8,745,321 firm-fixed-price contract for annual maintenance dredging of the Sacramento and Stockton Deep Water Ship Channels in California.


MSHA WATCH

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on June 10, a 22-year-old contractor with three years of experience was fatally injured when he was pinned between a front-end loader and a concrete block. Also, on June 24, a 34-year-old contractor with 10 years of experience, received fatal injuries when he fell beneath the wheels of a tractor-trailer. These were the 10th and 11th fatalities reported in calendar year 2019.


USGS STATS

An estimated 281 Mt of crushed stone was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 13% compared with that of the same period of 2018, according to Jason Willett, crushed stone commodity specialist for the U.S. Geological Survey.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that construction spending during May 2019 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,293.9 billion, 0.8% (±1.2%) below the revised April estimate of $1,304.0 billion. The May figure is 2.3% (±1.5%) below the May 2018 estimate of $1,324.3 billion.

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $757.0 billion, new construction starts in May climbed 10% from April, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Highway and bridge construction eased back 2%.

Total housing starts posted a 0.9% decrease in May (1.269 million units) compared to an upwardly revised April estimate of 1.281 million units, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. Relative to May 2018, total starts are 4.7% below the annual pace of 1.332 million units.


ENERGY

  • WTI Crude Oil Futures:7/19/2019: $55.63/barrel, down $4.58 from week earlier; down $13.83 from year earlier.
  • Natural Gas Futures:7/19/2019: $2.251/MMBtu, down $0.202 from week earlier; down $0.518 from year earlier.
  • U.S. Regular Gasoline:7/15/2019: $2.779/gal., up $0.036 from week earlier; down $0.086 from year earlier.
  • Retail Diesel:7/15/2019: $3.051/gal., down $0.004 from week earlier; down $0.1884 from year earlier.
  • Electricity:4/20/2019: Average price to industrial customers 6.53 cents/kilowatt hour; down from 6.58 cents/kilowatt hour from year earlier.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration