Aggregate Industries has seen better first half activity in its US business this year, thanks to less adverse weather conditions but there has also been an underlying improvement in the Mid-Atlantic area and in Minnesota. On the other hand, Colorado is expected to be slow to recover. Across the parts of the United States where it is active, Aggregate Industries expects to see aggregates pricing improve by between 2% and 3%, while the much greater increases in the price of cement should help pricing in ready-mixed concrete. The group expects cement prices this year to rise by between US$7 and US$8 per short ton, with two price increases during 2004 in some areas.
In Great Britain, the Midlands area of England has been weak because of delays in road projects but Scotland and the north and south-west of England are doing better. Prices are up by between 2% and 3% for aggregates and by 4% to 5% for concrete products, with cement prices currently being about £1.00 to £1.50 per tonne higher than a year ago. The group’s fourth British cement terminal, at Plymouth in south-west England is expecting its first ship during the second half of June. Aggregate Industries will be reporting its first half results on the 26th of July.