Martin Marietta Makes Waves
Martin Marietta Materials Inc. reported record results for the fourth quarter and full year 2016. For the fourth quarter of 2016, Martin Marietta achieved net sales of $889.0 million compared with $780.8 million in the 2015 fourth quarter.
New Enterprise Buys
New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co. Inc. acquired the core assets of Berks Products Corp. and EJB Paving & Materials Co. The strategic acquisitions consist of two aggregate plants, two hot mix asphalt plants, four ready mixed concrete plants, and a construction supply center in Berks County, Pa.
Vulcan Flies High
Vulcan Materials Co. announced results for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2016. The company’s fourth-quarter results reflect solid price growth in Aggregates and higher gross profits in the company’s Asphalt and Concrete segments, partially offsetting the earnings effect from a 3.5 percent decline in aggregates shipments.
Despite opposition, the Mine Safety and Health Administration appears poised to press forward with the planned rollout and enforcement of its final rule on workplace examinations. The rule imposes significant new requirements on metal and non-metal mine operators that may warrant new compliance procedures. In a letter sent Feb. 9, 2017, to the Mining Coalition, a group of mining companies represented by Husch Blackwell, MSHA indicated it would not withdraw the workplace exam rule for a 60-day review period as the Mining Coalition had requested.
According to figures from the U.S. Geological Survey, total aggregates production in 2016 was 2.49 billion metric tons (Gt), up from 2.28 Gt in 2015. The information was reported in its 2017 Mineral Commodity Summaries report. In 2016, 1.48 Gt of crushed stone valued at more than $16.2 billion was produced by 1,430 companies operating 3,700 quarries, 82 underground mines, and 187 sales and distribution yards in 50 states. This represents an increase of 11 percent increase compared with that of 2015. Leading states were, in descending order of production, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois and New York, which together accounted for more than one-half of the total crushed stone output.
The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced construction-spending statistics for full year 2016, as well as December 2016. The value of construction in 2016 was $1,162.4 billion, 4.5 percent (±1.0 percent) above the $1,112.4 billion spent in 2015.
For all of 2016, total construction starts advanced 1 percent to $676.5 billion, a considerably smaller gain than the 11 percent increase reported for 2015, according to Dodge Date & Analytics. Highway and bridge construction fell 14 percent in 2016, essentially returning to the 2014 amount after increasing 13 percent in 2015.
The Dodge Momentum Index rose 3.9 percent in January to 142.6 (2000=100) from its revised December reading of 137.3. The Momentum Index 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.
- WTI crude oil futures price: 2/10/2017: $53.86/barrels, up $0.03 from week earlier; up $27.65 from year earlier.
- Natural gas futures price: 2/10/2017: $3.034/MMBtu, down $0.029 from week earlier; up $1.040 from year earlier.
- Weekly coal production: 2/4/2017: 17.024 million tons, up 0.925 million tons from week earlier; up 2.734 million tons from year earlier.
- Natural gas inventories: 2/3/2017: 2,559 Bcf, down 152 Bcf from week earlier; down 325 Bcf from year earlier.
- Crude oil inventories: 2/3/2017: 508.6 million barrels, up 13.8 million barrels from week earlier; up 37.9 million barrels from year earlier.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration