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Plenty to keep tabs on within the aggregate industry

By |  June 28, 2022
Kevin Yanik

Yanik

Somehow, 2022 is already halfway over. Fortunately, the first six months of the year were productive ones for aggregate producers.

Operations were busy, with producers putting plenty of materials on the ground. Crushed stone, sand and gravel production was up – at least it was in the first quarter, as reported by the U.S. Geological Survey – and, in some cases, operations struggled to keep enough materials on hand.

That’s not a bad problem to have, though.

The producers, equipment manufacturers, dealers and others who attended the annual Pit & Quarry Roundtable & Conference this month shared as much. Industry stakeholders still feel very good about the business environment surrounding aggregates, but some admit they are starting to get concerned about the general economy.

George Reddin, managing director at FMI Capital Advisors, noted at the Roundtable that GDP growth was slightly negative in the first quarter. So by the time July rolls around, the U.S. might technically be in a recession.

Still, Reddin doesn’t expect a return of the Great Recession. Instead, the question he’s asking is how mild any downturn might be.

“Coming out of it, how aggressive will growth be,” Reddin says. “We brag after the Great Recession that we had the longest recovery in history. But it was so anemic it didn’t matter, right? So people are watching that.”

Other developments

Industry stakeholders also continue to keep an eye on inflation. Inflation was a key topic discussed during P&Q’s 2022 Roundtable discussions, with event attendees sharing the serious effects on their businesses. Kimball Equipment Co.’s Kirk Rainbolt delivered a Roundtable comment on inflation that sums up the times nicely.

“I think we all got caught by it in the first six months of this,” says Rainbolt, CEO of Kimball Equipment. “But by this point, everybody should have made the proper adjustments. If you can’t raise your prices then you don’t have a business; [then] it’s just a hobby.”

Dealers such as Kimball Equipment offer additional insights in our upcoming July edition, which is our fourth annual Dealer Issue. A dealer’s job is no easier today than it was when the magazine debuted The Dealer Issue back in 2019. In our July edition, we explore the changing dynamics between dealers and end users in today’s challenging business environment. Also look for a sponsored content section that showcases leading dealer networks and distribution capabilities.

Featured photo: P&Q Staff 

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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