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FIRST LOOK - MARCH 2020


TOP NEWS

Martin Marietta Reports Most Profitable Year in Its History

Martin Marietta Materials Inc. reported fourth quarter 2019 revenues of $1,100,430, up from $1,020,218 in the fourth quarter of 2018. Full-year 2019 revenues were $4,739,098, up from $4,244,265 in 2018.

Sandbrook to Retire

U.S. Concrete Inc. announced that William J. Sandbrook has notified the company’s board of directors of his decision to retire as chief executive officer effective April 3, 2020. Sandbrook will continue to serve as the company’s chairman of the board until the company’s annual meeting of stockholders in May 2020.

Summit Materials Details Strong Quarterly, Yearly Results

Summit Materials Inc. announced results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2019. For the three months ended Dec. 28, 2019, the company reported net income attributable to Summit Inc. of $35.7 million, or $0.32 per basic share, compared to a net loss attributable to Summit Inc. of $19.2 million, or $(0.17) per basic share in the comparable prior-year period. 


MSHA WATCH

There were 24 mining fatalities in the United States in 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported. This is the fewest number of fatalities ever recorded in a year, and only the fifth year in MSHA’s 43-year history that there were 30 or fewer mining fatalities. MSHA is still reviewing two cases of possible chargeable fatalities which, if added would make the total in 2019 the second lowest number of fatalities ever recorded.


USGS STATS

The U.S. Geological Survey released its 2020 Mineral Commodity Summaries publication, in which it gives its first, preliminary look at 2019 U.S. aggregates production. According to the publication, total aggregates production was approximately 2.5 billion metric tons, an increase of approximately 6% over 2018. In 2019, 1.53 billion tons of crushed stone valued at more than $18.7 billion was produced by an estimated 1,430 companies operating 3,440 quarries and 176 sales and (or) distribution yards in 50 states, an increase of approximately 8%. In 2019, 970 million tons of construction sand and gravel valued at $9.0 billion was produced by an estimated 3,870 companies operating 6,830 pits and 342 sales and distribution yards in 50 states, an increase of approximately 3.5%.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Construction spending during December 2019 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,327.7 billion, 0.2% (± 0.8%) below the revised November estimate of $1,329.9 billion. The December figure is 5.0% (±1.3%) above the December 2018 estimate of $1,264.8 billion. The value of construction in 2019 was $1,303.5 billion, 0.3% (±1.0%) below the $1,307.2 billion spent in 2018. Highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $99.9 billion, 3.1% (±3.1%) above the revised November estimate of $96.9 billion.

The Dodge Momentum Index fell 2.7% in January to 152.5 (2000=100) from the revised December reading of 156.7, snapping a four-month streak of gains. The Momentum Index, issued by Dodge Data & Analytics, 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. 

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) held a press conference at the 2020 World of Concrete show in Las Vegas last month, where PCA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Ed Sullivan predicted cement consumption to stay at moderate growth levels through and into 2022. PCA Market Intelligence expects cement consumption will grow by 1.7% in 2020. The potential for stronger than expected construction in residential construction could add one full percentage point to this outlook.


ENERGY
  • WTI Crude Oil Futures Price: 2/13/2020: $51.42/barrel up $0.47 from week earlier; down $2.48 from year earlier.
  • Natural Gas Futures Price: 2/13/2020: $1.826/MMBtu, down $0.036 from week earlier, down $0.749 from year earlier.
  • Retail Gasoline Price: 2/10/20: $2.419/gal., up $0.143 from a year earlier.
  • Retail Diesel Price: 2/10/20: $2.910/gal., down $0.056 from a year earlier.
  • Electricity: 11/20/2019: Average price to industrial customers 6.73 cents/kilowatt hour; down from 6.85 cents/kilowatt hour from year earlier.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration