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Cement production hits 28-year low

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey; Rock Products

USGS reported its final 2010 domestic cement statistics, confirming the historically weak consumption levels in Portland Cement Association forecasts. Last year saw about 61 million tons of portland cement and 1.8 million tons of masonry cement produced at 102 plants in 36 states, plus two plants in Puerto Rico. Overall production was the lowest since 1982 and reflected continued plant closures or indefinite shutdowns.

Although the rate of cement consumption decline abated significantly compared to 2009, 2010 sales volumes were the lowest in 27 years and nearly 59 million  tons or 45 percent below 2005’s record level. The overall value of shipments was about $6.5 billion, with 73 percent of cement sales to ready mixed and 12 percent to precast concrete producers; 10 percent to highway and other contractors, and the remainder to building materials dealers and other users. In descending order, Texas, California, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Alabama, and Michigan were the leading cement-producing states and accounted for about 50 percent of U.S. production.