Preliminary data from the US Geological Survey (USGS) show that total shipments of Portland and blended cement in the USA and Puerto Rico for April 2010 were approximately 6.5Mt. This translates to an 8.7 per cent increase in US shipments for April 2010 compared to April 2009. In a recent industry note, analysts at Jefferies International state that this growth figure is slightly higher than the eight per cent increase it had expected.
April was the second successive month in which consumption was higher than in the same month in the previous year, after 45 months of continual decline between May 2006 and February 2010.
Jefferies note that National Climatic Data Center reported that rainfall in April 2010 was similar nationally to April 2009. However, April 2010 was the 103rd warmest April whereas April 2009 was only the 81st warmest. Only a small part of the improvement in April 2010’s shipments nationally was in Jefferies view, due to the better weather.
The April 2010 improvement was geographically widespread but shipments declined in Florida and western states, probably due to above average rainfall in these states. Cemex, HeidelbergCement and Titan all have sizeable operations in these states, although the impact for HeidelbergCement may have been offset by its sizeable business in Texas., Jefferies note.
The USGS expect to publish the full April report in approximately two weeks.