Rock Products

NOV 2018

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www.rockproducts.com ROCK products • November 2018 • 1 FIRST LOOK NSSGA Holds Legislative Forum Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler welcomed the aggregates industry to Washington, D.C., on Sept. 25 during NSSGA's Legislative and Policy Forum. Wheeler provided updates on regulatory reform and other EPA priorities, including improving the permitting process, cost-benefit analysis and transparency in regulatory science. TOP NEWS Peckham Industries Acquires Palmer Paving Peckham Industries Inc. completed the acquisition of Palmer Paving Corp., a heavy highway construction and materials business based in Palmer, Mass. Palmer's operations, seasoned business management team and more than 150 employees will remain intact and will provide Peckham with expanding business opportunities in the region. MDU Resources Acquires Sweetman MDU Resources Group Inc. acquired Sweetman Construction Co., a premier provider of aggregates, asphalt and ready-mix concrete in the Sioux Falls, S.D., market. Sweetman, which does business as Concrete Materials Co., will become part of Knife River Corp., the construction materials subsidiary of MDU Resources. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. MSHA WATCH On Oct. 1, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) began actively enforcing the new requirements under the Workplace Examinations Rule that technically went into effect on June 2, 2018. The rule broadens the time in which a competent person could conduct workplace exams from just before the shift to "as work begins." It also reduces the percentage of hazards found during exams that warrant documentation to just those hazards that cannot be "promptly" abated. MSHA defined "promptly" as "before miners are potentially exposed to adverse conditions." An estimated 658 million metric tons (Mt) of total construction aggregates was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the second quarter of 2018, an increase of 7 percent compared with that of the second quarter of 2017, according to Jason Willett, crushed stone commodity specialist for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). USGS STATS The value of new construction starts in August decreased 9 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted an- nual rate of $741.9 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analyt- ics. The August downturn for total construction starts matched the 9 percent decline reported for July, as activity in the latest two months pulled back after the sharp increases in May (up 14 percent) and June (up 10 percent). The U.S. Census Bureau announced that construction spend- ing during August 2018 was estimated at a seasonally adjust- ed annual rate of $1,318.5 billion, 0.1 percent (±1.6 percent) above the revised July estimate of $1,317.4 billion. The Au- gust figure is 6.5 percent (±2.0 percent) above the August 2017 estimate of $1,237.5 billion. The Dodge Momentum Index dropped 2.6 percent in Septem- ber to 159.5 (2000=100) from the revised August reading of 163.7. The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in plan- ning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. ECONOMIC INDICATORS ENERGY WTI CRUDE OIL FUTURES PRICE 10/22/2018: $69.17/barrel, down $2.61 from week earlier; up $17.70 from year earlier. NATURAL GAS FUTURES PRICE 10/22/2018: $3.138/MMBtu, down $0.104 from week earlier; up $0.223 from year earlier. RETAIL GASOLINE PRICE 10/22/2018: $2.841/gal., down $0.038 from week earlier; up $0.362 from year earlier. RETAIL DIESEL PRICE 10/22/2018: $3.380/gal., down $0.014 from week earlier; up $0.583 from year earlier. ELECTRICITY 7/20/2018: Average price to industrial customers 7.34 cents/kilowatt hour; down from 7.35 cents/kilowatt hour a year earlier. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

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