First Look – October 2016


Eagle Materials Expands

Eagle Materials Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement with a subsidiary of Cemex S.A.B. de C.V., to purchase Cemex’s Fairborn, Ohio, cement plant, as well as related assets, which include a distribution terminal in Columbus, Ohio, and a cement bagging operation.

U.S. Highways Rated

The nation’s top-performing, most cost-effective highways are in South Carolina, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska and Maine, according to Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Report. The worst-performing, least cost-effective highway systems are in Alaska, New Jersey, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

MINExpo Rocks Las Vegas

MINExpo 2016, held Sept. 26-28 in Las Vegas, featured more than 800,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 12 indoor and outdoor halls and more than 1,800 companies. Aggregates producers found ways to increase productivity, control costs, keep operations competitive, improve safety and manage risk.


An estimated 377 Mt of crushed stone was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the second quarter of 2016, an increase of 6 percent compared with that of the second quarter of 2015, according to statistics from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). “The estimated production for consumption in the first six months of 2016 was 648 Mt, an increase of 11 percent compared with that of the same period of 2015,” said Jason Willet, crushed stone commodity specialist.


The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced that construction spending during July 2016, was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,153.2 billion, nearly the same as (±1.5 percent) the revised June estimate of $1,153.5 billion. The July figure is 1.5 percent (±2.3 percent) percent above the July 2015, estimate of $1,135.9 billion.

New construction starts in August soared 21 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $711.2 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics, following lackluster activity in July. The August rise for total construction starts featured an especially elevated amount for nonresidential building.

Nationwide housing starts fell 5.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.14 million units in August, according to newly released data from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Overall permit issuance edged 0.4 percent lower.


The Mine Safety and Health Administration issued the following statement with regard to water safety. “Since 2005, 24 miners have died at metal and nonmetal (MNM) mines and facilities while working on or near water. Whether working on a dredge, driving a haul truck, or operating a bulldozer, miners are at risk of drowning or entrapment when they work near water. Protective equipment like a personal flotation device adds safety and security to miners working on a dredge. The positive steps that operators, contractors and miners take to avoid unsafe acts and conditions combine to protect individuals against drowning and entrapment at MNM operations.”


  • WTI crude oil futures price – 9/22/2016: $46.32/barrel, up $2.41 from week earlier, up $1.84 from year earlier.

  • Natural gas futures price – 9/22/2016: $2.990/MMBtu, up $0.063 from week earlier, up $0.421 from year earlier.

  • Weekly coal production – 9/17/2016: 16.103 million tons, up 0.990 million tons from week earlier, down 2.025 million tons from year earlier.

  • NATURAL GAS inventories – 9/16/2016: 3,551 Bcf, up 52 Bcf from week earlier; up 140 Bcf from year earlier.

  • CRUDE OIL INVENTORIES – 9/16/2016: 504.6 million barrels, down 6.2 million barrels from week earlier, up 50.6 million barrels from year earlier.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

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