According to the U.S. Geological Survey, producers mined 5.46 million metric tons (Mt) of gypsum during the first quarter of 2023. That was 8% less than that in the fourth quarter of 2022 and 5% more than the amount in the first quarter of 2022.
Synthetic gypsum utilized was estimated to be 3.25 Mt in the first quarter of 2023, which was unchanged from that in the fourth quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2022.
During the first quarter of 2023, synthetic gypsum accounted for approximately 31% of the 10.5-Mt total supply of gypsum in the United States. Both mined and synthetic gypsum are used as raw material for wallboard.
The wallboard industry is the leading domestic consumer of gypsum. Calcined gypsum production during the first quarter of 2023 was 4.70 Mt, which was 4% less than that during the fourth quarter of 2022 and 10% more than that during the first quarter of 2022.
Sales of board products were 3.86 Mt, equivalent to approximately 623 million sq. meters (6.70 billion sq. ft.), essentially unchanged from those of the fourth quarter of 2022, and slightly more than those of the first quarter of 2022.
Sales of uncalcined gypsum in the first quarter of 2023, primarily for portland cement and agricultural uses, were estimated to be 4.95 Mt, slightly less than those in the fourth quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2022.
The occurrence of quarterly fluctuations is not unusual in the production and consumption of gypsum, synthetic gypsum and calcined gypsum. These variances are often the result of differences in weather conditions, which can impede or encourage construction activities, coupled with market demands that are often driven by residential and commercial building activity.