First Look – July 2022


House Passes 2022 WRDA
The House has passed the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022. It will improve the nation’s water infrastructure by authorizing water resources development projects in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This legislation will strengthen America’s economy through investments in ports, harbors and inland waterways; make communities more resilient; and protect and restore our ecosystems.

Holcim Expands Ready Mix Presence 
Holcim has acquired Cajun Ready Mix Concrete, the largest in its sector in the Baton Rouge, La., metropolitan area. The transaction will integrate Cajun’s expertise along with its eight ready-mix concrete plants, 108 employees and 51 mixer trucks. This acquisition adds to Holcim’s recent bolt-ons in ready-mix concrete, in line with its “Strategy 2025 – Accelerating Green Growth.”

TACA Meeting Addresses Challenges
The Texas Aggregates & Concrete Association (TACA) welcomed more than 520 attendees to its 68th Annual Meeting June 15-17 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. Highlights included presentations by the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) and FMI Capital Advisors.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has launched a new enforcement initiative to “better protect the nation’s miners from health hazards resulting from repeated overexposure to respirable crystalline silica.” MSHA said that silica dust affects thousands of miners each year and, without adequate protection, miners face risks of serious illnesses, many of which can be fatal.

The estimated U.S. output of construction aggregates produced and shipped for consumption in the first quarter of 2022 was 476 million metric tons (Mt), an increase of 4.1% compared with that of the same period of 2021, according to Jason Willett, commodity specialist for the U.S. Geological Survey. The estimated production-for-consumption of construction aggregates in the first quarter of 2022 increased in four of the nine geographic divisions compared with that sold or used in the first quarter of 2021. Production-for-consumption increased in 25 of the 42 states that were estimated.

Construction spending during April 2022 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,744.8 billion, 0.2% (±0.8%) above the revised March estimate of $1,740.6 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The April figure is 12.3% (±1.3%) above the April 2021 estimate of $1,553.5 billion.

Overall housing starts fell 14.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.55 million units in May from an upwardly revised reading the previous month, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Total construction starts rose 4% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $979.5 billion, according to Dodge Construction Network. Nonresidential building starts rose 20%, while residential starts fell by 4% and nonbuilding lost 2% during the month. Highway and bridge starts were up slightly. 


6/21/2022: $110.65/barrel; down $8.28 from week earlier, up $36.99 from year earlier.

6/21/2022: $6.808/MMBtu, down $0.381 from week earlier up $3.617 from year earlier.

6/13/2022: $5.718/gal., up from $5.571/gal. last month; up from $2.432/gal. a year earlier.

3/20/2022: Average price to industrial customers 7.50 cents/kilowatt hour; up from 7.05 cents/kilowatt hour a year earlier.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

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