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FIRST LOOK - JULY 2020


TOP NEWS

House Committee Approves INVEST in America Act

After more than 24 hours of debate that included the consideration of 177 amendments, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure approved the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act.

Oldcastle Division Develops WHO-compliant Hand Sanitizer

Techniseal, a division of Oldcastle APG and manufacturer of products for the installation and protection of outdoor hardscapes, announced the addition of a new medical-grade hand sanitizer to its product offering.

Lhoist to Expand Texas Facility with Lime Kiln

Lhoist North America has received an additional permit approval from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for construction of a new energy-efficient lime kiln at its New Braunfels, Texas, facility. The regulatory approval paves the way for Lhoist to begin construction on the significant expansion at the facility.


MSHA WATCH

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on June 1, a contract truck driver in Maricopa, Ariz., died after falling from the top of his trailer. The victim received first aid/CPR at the scene and passed away after being transported to a local hospital. This is the eighth fatality reported in 2020, and the third classified as “Slip or Fall of Person.”


USGS STATS

The estimated U.S. output of construction aggregates produced and shipped for consumption in the first quarter of 2020 was 464 million metric tons (Mt), an increase of 3% compared with that of the same period of 2019. The estimated production-for-consumption of construction aggregates in the first quarter of 2020 increased in six of the nine geographic divisions compared with that sold or used in the first quarter of 2019. Production-for-consumption increased in 31 of the 41 states that were estimated. 


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Total construction starts rose 3% from April to May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $595.1 billion, following a 25% decline the previous month. Several large nonresidential building projects broke ground in May resulting in the gain.

In a sign that the housing market continues to show forward momentum, single-family permits posted an 11.9% gain in May, while total housing starts increased 4.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 974,000 units, according to a report from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that construction spending during April 2020 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,346.2 billion, 2.9% (±0.8%) below the revised March estimate of $1,386.6 billion. The April figure is 3.0% (±1.5%) above the April 2019 estimate of $1,307.1 billion.


ENERGY

  • WTI Crude Oil Futures Price: 6/19/2020: $39.75/barrel, up $3.49 from week earlier; down $16.90 from year earlier.
  • Natural Gas Futures Price: 6/19/2020: $1.669/MMBtu, down $0.062 from week earlier; down $0.516 from year earlier.
  • Wholesale Propane Price: 3/30/2020: $0.433/gal., down $0.12 from week earlier; down $0.343/gal. from a year earlier.
  • Electricity: 3/20/2020: Average price to industrial customers 6.40 cents/kilowatt hour; down from 6.72 cents/kilowatt hour a year earlier.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration