PCA revises down 2016 US consumption forecast

PCA revises down 2016 US consumption forecast
30 March 2016

Cement consumption in the United States will continue to rise by 3.4 per cent, according to a report from the Portland Cement Association (PCA).

This is down slightly compared to its autumn forecast of five per cent. PCA expects 2017 cement consumption will grow at a rate of 4.3 per cent.

“The new forecast reflects the implementation of the new multi-year highway bill, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act,” said Edward Sullivan, PCA chief economist and group vice-president. “However, our forecast still reflects a deterioration in global growth conditions, an even weaker projection for oil prices, and a tightening of US monetary policy.”

The recently released PCA US Year-End Report finds 2015 cement consumption rising 3.8 per cent above prior year figures, to 105Mst.

Citing USGS YoY cement totals by division, PCA notes that Pacific grew at the most rapid pace, 9.1 per cent. West South Central logged the only decrease, -3.0 per cent against 2014 figures, yet on a volume basis still represented the largest share (20+ per cent) of the national market. Low ocean-freight rates, a strong dollar and weak global economic conditions factored heavily in a 34.4 per cent increase in cement imports from 2014 to 2015, with European mills more than doubling their westbound shipments.

USGS tracked 1.5bnt of crushed stone shipments (70 per cent limestone, 13 per cent granite) in 2015, a seven per cent gain over the prior year. Top states in descending order for crushed stone production were Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. Their combined 2015 output was 735Mt, up seven  per cent YoY.

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