Two economic recovery models inform new PCA market outlook

Portland Cement Association Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Ed Sullivan offers two U.S. cement consumption scenarios around “U” or “W” shaped economic recovery curves, with respective 2020 and 2021 figures of -3.4 percent or +1.7 percent and -4.8 percent and -2.7 percent—both years measured against 2019 industry shipments.

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PCA’s Sullivan confirms favorable 2018-20 cement consumption curve

Sources: Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.; CP staff

The PCA Market Intelligence Group’s annual Spring Forecast projects cement consumption growth of 2.8 percent in 2018 and 2019, along with 4 percent the following year, as impacts from potential federal infrastructure spending are likely to take effect. An analysis shows prospective annual cement shipments of 99.3 million, 102.1 million, and 106.1 million metric tons for the period.

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PCA factors weather, agency budgets in minor 2017-18 forecast revisions

Sources: Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.; CP staff

The latest PCA forecast of U.S. cement consumption sees year-over-year gains of 2.6 percent and 2.8 percent in 2017 and 2018 versus uniform 3 percent levels projected earlier this year. Bad weather, especially in the high volume concrete markets of Florida and Texas, coupled with lower anticipated public construction sector budgets are behind the more modest growth outlook.

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Traffic ‘chokepoint’ factor shapes bridge market future around expansion jobs

Sources: Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.; CP staff

Higher volumes of vehicles on the road over the next 25 years stand to spur a 5 percent gain in cement shipments for bridges above present consumption levels. A new PCA Market Intelligence report estimates the U.S. will need as many as 140,000 new or substantially reconfigured bridges by 2040, nearly 60 percent or 81,200 of which will be concrete.

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Agency confirms solid first quarter aggregate, cement consumption figures

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey; CP staff

The principal federal agency tracking sand & gravel, crushed stone and portland cement shipments reports double-digit gains for each material during the first quarter of 2016 as measured against prior year figures. The U.S. Geological Survey confirms these year-over-year 2016 Q1 trends: sand & gravel, 173 million metric tons (mt), +10 percent; crushed stone, 270 million mt, +21 percent; and, portland cement, +14 percent.

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PCA’s Sullivan: Oil price variables hamper firm cement consumption outlook

18 Ed 150

At a World of Concrete 2016 briefing, Portland Cement Association Chief Economist Ed Sullivan offered critical energy and housing market footnotes to his latest U.S. cement consumption forecast. Released in November, it projects year-over-year gains of 5 percent, at best, in 2016, and 5.7 percent for 2017. At those levels, U.S. portland and masonry cement shipments will climb from 92 million metric tons (mt) in 2015 to 96.4 million mt and 102 million mt this year and next.

 
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PCA’s Sullivan doubles down on positive cement consumption outlook

Sources: Portland Cement Association, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

Measuring year-to-date cement shipments through July, the most recent month for which data is available, PCA Chief Economist Ed Sullivan reiterates in his most recent economic forecast that the industry is on track to reach a previously projected 7.9 percent increase in 2014 powder consumption against 2013 figures.

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Utility structures help precast shipments outpace overall 2013 construction market

Sources: National Precast Concrete Association, Carmel, Ind.; CP staff

Reflecting input from more than 60 producers operating 200-plus plants, the Precast Industry Benchmarking Survey indicates 2013 shipments increased 5.2 percent over the prior year, to $16.2 billion—encompassing an estimated 33 million yd. of concrete output and 11 million tons’ cement consumption.

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PCA’S Sullivan Firm On 2014 Growth Projection In 8 Percent Range

Although recent indicators point to a tempering of the U.S. economy, Portland Cement Association is maintaining its forecast for steady growth in construction and cement consumption during the next five years, starting with a projected 7.9 percent increase this year in powder shipments—nearly double the 4.5 percent increase the industry logged in 2013 over prior-year volume.

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