USGS Estimates 2021 Aggregates Production

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) – in its just-released Mineral Commodity Summaries 2022 report – estimates that 2021 total aggregates production will come in at approximately 2.5 billion metric tons per year (Gt), more than a 3% increase over 2020; with an additional 204 million metric tons (Mt) coming from the cement, gypsum, lime and industrial sand sectors. 

The Mineral Commodity Summaries 2022 report provides an early estimation of 2021 production totals ahead of official fourth quarter and year-end reports from the agency.

For 2021, USGS estimates that 1.5 Gt of crushed stone valued at more than $19 billion was produced by an estimated 1,410 companies operating 3,440 quarries and 180 sales and (or) distribution yards in 50 states. Leading states were, in descending order of production, Texas, Missouri, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, California and Tennessee, which together accounted for about 54% of total crushed stone output. 

Of the total domestic crushed stone produced in 2021, about 70% was limestone and dolomite; 15%, granite; 6%, traprock; 5%, miscellaneous stone; 3%, sandstone and quartzite; and the remaining 1% was divided, in descending order of tonnage, among marble, volcanic cinder and scoria, calcareous marl, slate, and shell. It is estimated that about 72% of crushed stone was used as a construction aggregate, mostly for road construction and maintenance; 16% for cement manufacturing; 8% for lime manufacturing; 2% for agricultural uses; and the remaining 2% for other chemical, special and miscellaneous uses and products.

For 2021, USGS estimates that 1.0 Gt of construction sand and gravel valued at $9.9 billion was produced by an estimated 3,870 companies operating 6,800 pits and 340 sales and (or) distribution yards in 50 states. Leading producing states were, in order of decreasing tonnage, California, Texas, Arizona, Minnesota, Utah, Michigan, Washington, Ohio, Colorado and New York, which together accounted for about 53% of total output. 

It is estimated that about 46% of construction sand and gravel was used as portland cement concrete aggregates, 21% for road base and coverings and road stabilization, 13% for construction fill, 12% for asphaltic concrete aggregate and for other bituminous mixtures and 4% for other miscellaneous uses. The remaining 4% was used for concrete products, filtration, golf course maintenance, plaster and gunite sands, railroad ballast, road stabilization, roofing granules, and snow and ice control.

For 2021, USGS estimates that U.S. portland cement production increased slightly to an estimated 90 million tons, and masonry cement production continued to remain steady at 2.4 million tons. Cement was produced at 96 plants in 34 states, and at two plants in Puerto Rico. 

Texas, Missouri, California and Florida were, in descending order of production, the four leading cement-producing states and accounted for nearly 44% of U.S. production. Overall, the U.S. cement industry’s growth continued to be constrained by closed or idle plants, underutilized capacity at others, production disruptions from plant upgrades, and relatively inexpensive imports. 

In 2021, USGS estimates that shipments of cement were estimated to have increased slightly from those of 2020 and were valued at $13.4 billion. In 2021, an estimated 70% to 75% of sales were to ready-mixed concrete producers, 11% to concrete product manufacturers, 8% to 10% to contractors, and 5% to 12% to other customer types.

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