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Production Reduction


USGS Reports Final 2011 Production Figures, But The Tally is Not as High as Many Hoped.

By Mark S. Kuhar

It was a year during which the industry waited and waited for a new highway bill, but all Congress could muster was more short-term extensions. The down-stream result is that total aggregates production was down in 2011 versus 2010.

According to USGS, the estimated annual output of aggregates produced for consumption in 2011 was 1.93 billion metric tons (Gt). The estimated annual output of crushed stone produced for consumption in 2011 was 1.14 Gt, a slight decrease compared with that of 2010. The estimated annual output of construction sand and gravel produced for consumption in 2011 was 795 million metric tons (Mt), the same as that of 2010.

“Construction aggregates producers indicated that an estimated 1.93 billion metric tons of construction aggregates was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in 2011, a slight decrease compared with that of 2010,” said Jason C. Willett, USGS crushed stone commodity specialist. “It was estimated that consumption of construction aggregates decreased by 4 percent in the first six months of 2011. During the last six months, consumption increased slightly with an estimated 630 million metric tons of crushed stone and 458 million metric tons of construction sand and gravel being produced and shipped. Consumption of construction aggregates in 2011 was estimated to be at its lowest level since 1989.”

The estimated total annual production-for-consumption of aggregates in 2011 increased, compared with that of 2010, in 22 of the 50 states that were estimated. The five leading states, in descending order of total annual output for 2011, were Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Ohio. Their combined total annual output was 571 Mt, a 4 percent increase compared with that of 2010.

An estimated 477 million Mt of total aggregates was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2011, an increase of 2.4 percent compared with that of the same period of 2010. The estimated production-for-consumption of aggregates in the fourth quarter of 2011 increased in seven of the geographic divisions compared with that sold or used in the fourth quarter of 2010. Production-for-consumption of aggregates increased in 25 of the 48 states that were estimated.

Total estimated value of aggregates produced in 2011 was $17.3 billion.

For the fourth quarter of 2011, an estimated 281 million Mt of crushed stone was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States, a slight increase compared with that of the same period of 2010. The estimated production-for-consumption of crushed stone in the fourth quarter of 2011 increased in six of the nine geographic divisions compared with that sold or used in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Production-for-consumption of crushed stone increased in 25 of the 46 states that were estimated. The five leading states, in descending order of production-for-consumption, were Texas, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Ohio and Illinois. Their combined total production-for-consumption was 96.1 Mt and represented 34 percent of the U.S. total.

Total estimated value of crushed stone produced in 2011 was $11.3 billion.

The estimated U.S. output of construction sand and gravel produced and shipped for consumption in the fourth quarter of 2011 was 197 Mt, an increase of 3.7 percent compared with that of the same period of 2010. The estimated production-for-consumption of construction sand and gravel in the fourth quarter of 2011 increased from fourth quarter 2010 levels in six of the nine geographic divisions.

Production-for-consumption of construction sand and gravel increased in 21 of the 47 states that were estimated. The five leading states, in descending order of production-for-consumption, were California, Texas, Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio. Their combined total production-for-consumption was 65.4 Mt and represented 33 percent of the U.S. total.

Total estimated value of sand and gravel produced in 2011 was $6 billion.

Shipments of portland cement increased by 7.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, and annual consumption increased by 3.1 percent in 2011, compared with consumption in 2010. This information is obtained from the USGS monthly survey of U.S. cement producers.