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Producers savoring the small wins earned in 2020

By |  October 23, 2020
Photo:

Yanik

Where is the aggregate industry at this moment in time?

At Pit & Quarry, we’re currently making that assessment as we finalize our annual State of the Industry Report. The report will appear in the magazine’s upcoming December issue, with commentaries from industry leaders, reflections on 2020 and outlooks about the road ahead.

To this moment, at least – less than two weeks from Election Day and more than seven months since the COVID-19 pandemic started – I’d argue that the industry performed admirably this year. Many aggregate producers came into 2020 with high hopes for another banner year. Last year was a record year for some, and they felt they might experience at least a repeat of 2019 in 2020.

Where we are

A repeat unfortunately is not happening, but ask producers and many will tell you they’ll gladly take the results they’ve seen to date. Businesses are happy to celebrate the small victories they’re earning, especially in light of the many obstacles 2020 threw their way.

Cautious optimism seems to be the mood of the moment. There’s a great deal of optimism about opportunities tied to the residential construction market. That optimism extends into 2021 and beyond.

But producers realize other construction markets present uncertainties – including the aggregate-intensive public sector. Funding public projects is probably the No. 1 item keeping industry stakeholders up at night right now. So many states set their Departments of Transportation (DOT) back this year with stay-at-home orders, and driving, which fuels necessary DOT revenues, is not what it was prior to the pandemic.

The states are looking to the federal government for an infusion of tens of billions of dollars over the next several years to address the revenue shortfalls created. Will the federal government respond? Will the nature of funding highways have to change, as a big, lingering question remains in how U.S. infrastructure should be paid for. An effective federal government response would expedite the nation’s recovery in 2021, but it’s doubtful much, if anything, will get passed during the upcoming lame-duck session.

Still, put those worries aside for the moment and celebrate the wins earned through 10-plus months of 2020. Producers are proving extremely resilient this year, and their toughness should propel them forward in the face of whatever adversity lies ahead.


Featured photo: P&Q Staff

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

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

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