Concrete Products is the leading source for Concrete Plants, Concrete Mixers, Precast, and Ready Mix news.

Bureaucrats ignore cement leaders’ fiduciary duties in market inquiry

While not alleging collusion or other illegal behavior, the British counterpart agency to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice Antitrust Division is considering steps to increase competition among three major, integrated producers following an inquiry of the U.K. portland cement, GGBF slag cement, aggregate and ready mixed concrete supply chain.

Read more: Bureaucrats ignore cement leaders’ fiduciary duties in market inquiry

Compressed natural gas: Promising power

After a three-month trial with a handful of McNeilus Next Generation Initiatives mixer trucks, our cover story subject decided 2012 would be a turning point in fleet and fuel specifications: diesel out, natural gas in. A leader in greater Chicago and northern Indiana  ready mixed, Ozinga Brothers Inc. is now a leading catalyst for the industry's adoption of compressed nat­ural (CNG) vehicle power (pages 22-25 ).

Read more: Compressed natural gas: Promising power

Producers check unions’ enterprise coercion

When President Obama’s critics talk about abuse of executive power, a National Labor Relations Board reference is close at hand. Questioning the constitutionality of three Board Members' appointments, made when the administration deemed the Senate in recess, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in January that the NLRB lacked a quorum in a 2012 decision for which Washington state employer Noel Canning sought review. The NLRB responded last month, petitioning for Supreme Court review of the appellate court ruling. Post-2011 Board orders would be jeopardized in the event the high court refuses to review the ruling, or upholds it.

Read more: Producers check unions’ enterprise coercion

Limited exposure to Europe helps Votorantim Cimentos in IPO quest

In 2012 business reviews, the world’s leading public cement companies confirm sales or profit declines reflecting deep ties to European Union economies beset by nightmarish governing. Brazil’s Votorantim Cimentos S.A. is preparing to join the publicly traded operators club, presenting investors a portfolio with a key differentiating factor—minor European exposure—compared to peers Cemex SAB de C.V., Heidelberg Cement, Holcim Ltd., Italcementi SpA and Lafarge Group.

Read more: Limited exposure to Europe helps Votorantim Cimentos in IPO quest

Aggregate top guns believe in recovery

Three credible sources offer a welcome follow up on the encouraging 2013 construction and concrete business outlook noted here last month. In investor guidance, the top U.S. aggregate producers—each with varying levels of integrated concrete, cement, asphalt and road building businesses—report slight 2012 sales or earnings improvement over the prior year, plus 2013 market confidence underpinned by MAP-21 highway bill funding, plus gains in residential and nonresidential building.

Read more: Aggregate top guns believe in recovery