First Look – February 2024


Caterpillar Inc. has signed an electrification strategic agreement with CRH to advance the deployment of Caterpillar’s zero-exhaust emissions solutions. CRH is the number-one aggregates producer in North America and the first company in that industry to sign such an agreement with Caterpillar.

Summit Materials
Summit Materials shareholders approved proposals at the heart of a September 2023 agreement with Colombia-based Cementos Argos S.A., paving the path for a prompt Summit Materials and Argos North America Corp. merger.

Martin Marietta
Martin Marietta Materials Inc. announced that it completed the acquisition of Albert Frei & Sons Inc. (AFS), a leading aggregates producer in Colorado that has supplied the Metro Denver area with materials since 1962.

An estimated 437 Mt of crushed stone was sold or used in the United States in the third quarter of 2023, a decrease of 3% compared with that in the third quarter of 2022. The estimated production for consumption in the first nine months of 2023 was 1.17 Gt, essentially unchanged compared with that in the same period of 2022, according to Jason Christopher Willett, commodity specialist, National Minerals Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The AVP Pulse Index for January – brought to you by Rock Products and Allen-Villere Partners – increased 2.4% month over month. The Index is up 5.5% year over year and 17.6% over the past 36 months.

Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 28.6 million tons in 2023, a decrease of less than 1% compared to 2022. 2023’s loadings were below the trade’s five-year average by 1.1%, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association. Loadings from U.S. quarries increased less than 1% from the prior year to 23.1 million tons.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, construction spending during November 2023 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $2,050.1 billion, 0.4% (±1.0%) above the revised October estimate of $2,042.5 billion.

MSHA reported that on Dec. 14, 2023, a contractor at the Beck Street mine in Salt Lake County, Utah, died while delivering parts to the mine when an all-terrain telehandler pulling cable tipped over, striking him. This is the 40th and final fatality reported in 2023, and the 16th classified as “Machinery.”

MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:

  • Do not exceed the load radius and load limits of lifting equipment.
  • Ensure miners position themselves in a safe manner while working around equipment.
  • Barricade and sign affected areas in case equipment or loads fail or tip.
  • Ensure visitors entering the mine receive site specific hazard awareness training.
  • Maintain good communication between co-workers.


WTI Crude Oil Futures
1/16/2024: $72.40/barrel; up $0.16 from week earlier; down $7.46 from year earlier.

Natural Gas
1/16/2024: $2.900/MMBtu; down $0.290 from week earlier; down $0.519 from year earlier.

Retail Diesel
1/17/2023: $3.863/gal., up $ 0.035 from week earlier; down $0.661 from year earlier.

10/20/23: Average price to industrial customers 8.09 cents/kilowatt hour; down from 8.45 cents/kilowatt hour from year earlier.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Women in Aggregates is a new group dedicated to supporting women working in the aggregates industry. The Mission Statement of the group is: “To create a supportive space for women that fosters leadership growth, networking opportunities and advocacy of the aggregate industry.” Membership in Women in Aggregates is open to any woman working in, or working in support of, the aggregates industry, including producers, manufacturers and distributors; and marketing, advertising or public relations professionals. Interested parties can go to to join the mailing list and to stay apprised of future developments, meetings, events and other communications from the group. There is also a LinkedIn discussion page, at

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