Rock Products

AUG 2012

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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TOP NEWS VULCAN RISES Vulcan Materials Co. announced that aggre‐ gates segment gross profit improved $9 mil‐ lion, or 9 percent, in the second quarter, reflect‐ ing lower unit cost of sales due to improved productivity and cost reduction initiatives. All key labor and energy efficiency metrics for aggregates improved for the quarter. MSHA WATCH MSHA released a midyear summary of mining deaths across the country. During the first half of 2012, 19 miners died in work‐related accidents at the nation's mines. Among nine metal and nonmetal mining deaths, four were attributed to powered haulage incidents, two were the result of a falling face/rib/highwall, and one each was linked to an accident involving machin‐ ery, falling material and a person falling. USGS STATS The estimated production-for-consumption of construction aggregates in the first quarter of 2012 increased in seven of the nine geographic divisions compared with that sold or used in the first quarter of 2011. The largest increases in percent- ages were recorded in the West North Central, and the New England divisions. Production-for- consumption increased in 33 of the 45 states that were estimated. The five leading states were, in descending order of production-for-consumption, Texas, California, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Florida. ECONOMIC INDICATORS Construction spending in May reached the high‐ est level since December 2009 as widespread gains in private nonresidential construction, sin‐ gle‐family and multifamily homebuilding more than offset a continuing downturn in public con‐ struction, according to an analysis of new federal data released by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said they expect the disparity between private and public construction is likely to persist, although enactment of a federal highway and transit bill will cushion the decline in public spending. Sales of newly built, single‐family homes slowed 8.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 350,000 units in June following an upwardly revised, strong pace in the previous month, according to figures released by HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) proj‐ ects the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil spot price to average about $88 per barrel over the second half of 2012 and the U.S. refiner acquisi‐ tion cost (RAC) of crude oil to average $93 per barrel, both about $7 per barrel lower than last month's Outlook. Natural gas working inventories ended June 2012 at an estimated 3.1 trillion cu. Ft. (Tcf), about 23 percent above the same time last year. EIA expects MAP-21 Industry reaction to the passage of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), the two-year infrastructure bill just passed by Congress, was positive yet cautious. ACQUISITION Irving Materials Inc. (IMI), of Greenfield, Ind., announced that it has made an asset purchase of Rock Industries from the Smith family of Peru, Ind. This includes the Peru and Plymouth aggregate quarries. The addition of the two Rock Industries facilities brings IMI aggregate mining operations to 18 across Indiana. ENERGY the Henry Hub natural gas spot price, which averaged $4.00 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2011, to average $2.58 per MMBtu in 2012 and $3.22 per MMBtu in 2013. EIA expects that tempera‐ tures during the third quarter of 2012, although above normal, will aver‐ age about 16 percent lower than last year. This reduced need for summer cooling contributes to EIA's projection of a 3.8‐ percent decline in residen‐ tial electricity sales in 2012. ROCKproducts • AUGUST 2012 1

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