US Geological Survey preliminary estimates indicate that US cement shipments in March 2011 were 0.8% lower than in March 2010, better than expected, according to analysts at Jefferies International.
This was only the second monthly decline in the last 13 months, and appears to have been mainly caused by the bad weather in parts of the US, Jefferies notes. In the first three months of this year, cement shipments were 3.4% higher than in 1Q10. In the last 12 months (April 2010-March 2011) they were 3.5% higher than in the same period the year before (April 2009-March 2010).
Amongst the larger states, shipments declined in March in Arizona (-18%), Northern California (-18%), Southern California (-12%), Georgia (-9%), Michigan (-8%), Florida (-3%), South Carolina (-1%). Conversely, they increased in Northern Texas (+16%) and Southern Texas (+2%). Vulcan was therefore particularly hit by the weakness in California in March, as was Martin Marietta in the South East. The European companies fared better, mainly due to their concentration on the more northerly states.
US cement shipments for the first three months of 2011 were 3.4% higher than in the same period in 2010. Amongst the larger states shipments increased in Northern Texas (+12%), Northern California (+9%), Southern California (+4%), Michigan (+3%) and South Carolina (+1%), but they declined in Arizona (-8%), Georgia (-6%), Florida (-2%) and Southern Texas (-2%).