Rock Products Logo
 

 

 
 


We Analyzed the Cumulative Production of the Major Nonmetallic Minerals Segments in 2018 and Compared it to 2017.

Wash State DOT moodEach year, the U.S. Geological Survey releases its Mineral Commodity Summaries report. Published on an annual basis, this report provides industry data for more than 90 individual minerals and materials.

For the Rock Products Market Composite, we took data from six commodity segments – crushed stone, construction sand and gravel, industrial sand, cement, lime and gypsum – and combined it to calculate a market tonnage total.

For 2018, The Rock Products Market Composite is 2.616 billion tons of material produced. That is compared to 2.448 billion tons of material produced in 2017, an approximate 6 percent increase.

Here is market data by commodity segment:

Crushed Stone

In 2018, 1.40 billion tons of crushed stone valued at more than $16.6 billion was produced by an estimated 1,465 companies operating 3,710 quarries and 176 sales and (or) distribution yards in 50 states, an increase of 3 percent compared with that of 2017. 

Leading states were, in descending order of production, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Missouri, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee and Illinois, which together accounted for more than one-half of the total crushed stone output.

Of the total domestic crushed stone produced in 2018, about 68 percent was limestone and dolomite; 15 percent, granite; 6 percent, traprock; 5 percent, miscellaneous stone; 4 percent, sandstone and quartzite; and the remaining 2 percent was divided, in descending order of tonnage, among marble, volcanic cinder and scoria, calcareous marl, slate, and shell.

It is estimated that of the 1.5 billion tons of crushed stone consumed in the United States in 2018, 75 percent was used as construction material, mostly for road construction and maintenance; 13 percent for cement manufacturing; 7 percent for lime manufacturing; 3 percent for other chemical, special, and miscellaneous uses and products; and 2 percent for agricultural uses. 

Construction Sand and Gravel

Construction sand and gravel production was about 970 million tons in 2018, an increase of 8 percent compared with that of 2017. Demand for construction sand and gravel increased in 2018 because of growth in the private and public construction markets, especially after this segment was flat during the past 2 years. Commercial and heavy-industrial construction activity, infrastructure funding, new single-family housing unit starts, and weather affect growth in sand and gravel production and consumption.

Long-term increases in construction aggregates demand will be influenced by activity in the public and private construction sectors, as well as by construction work related to security measures being implemented around the nation. The underlying factors that would support a rise in prices of construction sand and gravel are expected to be present in 2019, especially in and near metropolitan areas.

Industrial Sand and Gravel

In 2018, industrial sand and gravel production was 120 million tons, valued at about $6.2 billion, produced by about 191 companies from 321 operations in 35 states.

The value of production of industrial sand and gravel in 2018 increased by 22 percent compared with that of the previous year, and by 130 percent compared with 2016, owing primarily to increased demand for hydraulic-fracturing sand for the oil and gas sector. Leading states were Wisconsin, Texas, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Mississippi, Iowa and Arkansas, in order of tonnage produced. Combined production from these states accounted for 87 percent of the domestic total.

About 73 percent of the U.S. tonnage was used as hydraulic-fracturing sand and well-packing and cementing sand; as glassmaking sand and other whole-grain silica, 7 percent each; as foundry sand, 4 percent; as other ground silica, and whole-grain fillers and building products, 2 percent each; as ground and unground sand for chemicals, filtration sand, and recreational sand, 1 percent each; and for other uses, 2 percent.

Pg21Cement

 

Production of portland cement in 2018 in the United States increased slightly to about 85.4 million tons, and output of masonry cement continued to be stagnant at 2.4 million tons. Cement was produced at 98 plants in 34 states, and at two plants in Puerto Rico. Overall U.S. cement production continued to be well below the record level of 99 million tons reported in 2005, indicating continued full-time idle status at a few plants, underutilized capacity at many others, production disruptions from plant upgrades, plant closures over the interim, and relatively inexpensive imports in some recent years.

Sales of cement increased by nearly 3 percent in 2018. Overall, shipments were 27.8 million tons lower than the record volume set in 2005. The overall value of shipments was nearly $12.7 billion. Most of the sales of cement were to make concrete, worth at least $66 billion.

In recent years, about 70 to 75 percent of cement sales have been to ready-mixed concrete producers, 8 to 10 percent to contractors (mainly road paving; much contractor work also involves ready-mixed concrete), about 10 percent to concrete product manufacturers, and 7 to 10 percent to other customer types. Texas, California, Missouri, Florida and Alabama were, in descending order of production, the five-leading cement-producing states and accounted for nearly 50 percent of U.S. production.

Lime

In 2018, an estimated 19 million tons of quicklime and hydrate was produced (excluding independent commercial hydrators), valued at about $2.4 billion. At yearend, 29 companies were producing lime, which included 18 companies with commercial sales and 10 companies that produced lime strictly for internal use (for example, sugar companies).

These companies had 74 primary lime plants (plants operating quicklime kilns) in 28 states and Puerto Rico. Six of these 29 companies operated only hydrating plants in 11 states.

In 2018, the five-leading U.S. lime companies produced quicklime or hydrate in 20 states and accounted for 79 percent of U.S. lime production. Principal producing states were, in alphabetical order, Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Texas.

Major markets for lime were, in descending order of consumption, steelmaking, chemical and industrial applications (such as the manufacture of fertilizer, glass, paper and pulp, and precipitated calcium carbonate, and in sugar refining), flue gas treatment, construction, water treatment, and nonferrous mining.

Gypsum

In 2018, domestic production of crude gypsum was estimated to be 21 million tons with a value of about $168 million. The leading crude gypsum-producing states were Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas, which together accounted for an estimated 67 percent of total output.

Overall, 47 companies produced or processed gypsum in the United States at 50 mines in 16 States. The majority of domestic consumption, which totaled approximately 48 million tons, was used by agriculture, cement production, and manufacturers of wallboard and plaster products.

Small quantities of high-purity gypsum, used in a wide range of industrial processes, accounted for the remaining tonnage. At the beginning of 2018, the production capacity of operating wallboard plants in the United States was about 33.4 billion sq. ft. per year. Total wallboard sales were estimated to be 25.5 billion sq. ft.

Source: 2019 USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries.