Mineral Commodity Summaries

Snapshots Of The Crushed Stone, Sand And Gravel, Industrial Sand, Cement, Gypsum And Lime Markets

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates the annual output of construction aggregates produced for consumption in 2022 was 2.44 Gt, unchanged from that of 2021, according to Jason Christopher Willett, commodity specialist. The estimated annual output of crushed stone produced for consumption in 2022 was 1.5 billion metric tons (Gt) unchanged from that of 2021. The estimated annual output of construction sand and gravel produced for consumption in 2022 was 937 million metric tons (Mt), essentially unchanged from that of 2021.

Crushed Stone
In 2022, 1.5 billion tons of crushed stone valued at more than $21 billion was produced by an estimated 1,340 companies operating 3,290 quarries and 170 sales and (or) distribution yards in 50 states. Leading states were, in descending order of production, Texas, Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana, which together accounted for about 55% of total crushed stone output. 

Of the total domestic crushed stone produced in 2022, 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. An estimated 74% of crushed stone was used as a construction aggregate, mostly for road construction and maintenance; 17% for cement manufacturing; 5% for lime manufacturing; 1% for agricultural uses; and the remaining 3% for other chemical, special, and miscellaneous uses and products.

Construction Sand and Gravel
U.S. construction sand and gravel production was approximately 937 Mt in 2022, essentially the same as that in 2021. Apparent consumption also increased to 937 Mt. Typically, commercial and heavy-industrial construction activity, infrastructure funding, labor availability, new single-family housing unit starts and weather affect growth in construction sand and gravel production and consumption. 

Long-term increases in construction aggregates demand are influenced by activity in the public and private construction sectors, as well as by construction work related to infrastructure improvements around the nation. The underlying factors that would support a rise in prices of construction sand and gravel are expected to be present in 2023, especially in and near metropolitan areas.

In 2022, U.S. portland cement production increased slightly to an estimated 92 Mt, and masonry cement production increased to an estimated 2.5 Mt. 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 approximately 43% 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 2022, shipments of cement were estimated to have increased by about 3% from those in 2021 and were valued at $14.6 billion. In 2022, 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.

Industrial Sand
In 2022, industrial sand and gravel production was an estimated 97 Mt valued at an estimated $5.7 billion. The quantity of industrial sand and gravel sold or used increased by 30% and the value increased by 78% compared with that in 2021. 

Industrial sand and gravel was produced by 122 companies from 201 operations in 32 states. The leading producing states were, in descending order of production, Texas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, California and Tennessee. Combined production from these states accounted for about 87% of total domestic sales and use. 

Approximately 75% of the U.S. tonnage was used as hydraulic-fracturing sand (frac sand) and well-packing and cementing sand; and 10% as glassmaking sand. Other common uses were, in decreasing quantity of use, foundry sand, whole grain fillers for building products, filtration sand, and recreational sand, which accounted for 9%, combined. Other minor uses were, in decreasing quantity of use, chemicals, abrasives, roofing granules, silicon and ferrosilicon, ceramics, fillers, filtration gravel, traction, and metallurgic flux, which accounted for 3%, combined. Other unspecified uses accounted for 3%, combined.

In 2022, domestic production of crude gypsum was estimated to be 21 Mt with a value of about $250 million. The leading crude-gypsum-producing states were estimated to be California, Iowa, Kansas, Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas. Overall, 47 companies produced or processed gypsum in the United States at 52 mines in 16 states. 

The majority of domestic consumption, which totaled approximately 42 Mt, 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 2022, the production capacity of 63 operating gypsum panel manufacturing plants in the United States was about 34 billion sq. ft. per year. Total wallboard sales in 2022 were estimated to be 28 billion sq. ft.

In 2022, an estimated 17 Mt of quicklime and hydrated lime was produced (excluding independent commercial hydrators), valued at about $2.3 billion. Lime was produced by 28 companies – 18 with commercial sales and 10 that produced lime strictly for internal use (for example, sugar companies). These companies had 73 primary lime plants (plants operating quicklime kilns) in 28 states and Puerto Rico. One primary lime plant was idle in 2022. Of the 28 companies, five operated only hydrating plants in nine states. 

In 2022, the five leading U.S. lime companies produced quicklime or hydrated in 22 states and accounted for about 79% of U.S. lime production. Principal producing states were 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-metal mining.

Rock Products Market Composite 

The Rock Products Market Composite for 2023 – a cumulative number based on the combined annual production of Crushed Stone, Sand and Gravel, Cement, Industrial Sand, Gypsum and Lime in 2022 – totals 2.668 Gt of material. Here is how it compares to previous years:

2022 (2021 Production) – 2.668 Gt.
2021 (2020 production) – 2.704 Gt.
2020 (2019 production) – 2.618 Gt.
2019 (2018 production) – 2.730 Gt.
2018 (2017 production) – 2.616 Gt.

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