US cement sales show modest gain in 2019

US cement sales show modest gain in 2019
11 February 2020

Cement sales edged up to US$12.5bn in 2019, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). Of this total 70-75 per cent of sales were to ready-mixed concrete producers, 10 per cent to concrete product manufacturers, 8-10 per cent to contractors and 5-12 to other customers. Around 100Mt were shipped to final customers, including around 1Mt of exports. In 2018 shipments reached 98.48Mt. The average cement increased from US$121/t in 2018 to US$123.50/t in 2019.

The USGS reported that construction spending decreased in 2019 due to a fall in private residential and non-residential spending. Following a hurricane in 2018, cement shipments into the Carolinas increased due to reconstruction efforts.

In 2019 US Portland cement production increased 2.5 per cent YoY to 86Mt while masonry cement output remained stable at 2.4Mt. Cement was produced at 96 plants in 34 states and two plants in Puerto Rico. The seven leading cement-producing states were Texas, California, Missouri, Florida, Alabama, Michigan and Pennsylvania and accounted for nearly 60 per cent of domestic output. Cement inventories advanced to 8.85Mt in 2019 from 8.58Mt in 2018.

No major plant upgrades were completed during the year, but several minor upgrades were ongoing. One cement company began work on an upgrade to one of its plants in Indiana, with completion expected in 2022 ,while another  company continued to work on securing permits for a new white cement plant in Texas, which would be the third white cement plant in the country, reported USGS. Many plants have installed emissions-reduction equipment to comply with the 2010 National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). It remains possible that some kilns could be shut, idled, or used in a reduced capacity to comply with NESHAP, which would constrain US clinker capacity.

Domestic supply was supplemented by 15Mt of hydraulic cement and 1.1Mt of clinker imports. No data regarding importing countries has been made available for 2019, but key importers in the 2015-18 period were Canada (35 per cent of imports), Greece (16 per cent), China (14 per cent) and Turkey (11 per cent).

Published under Cement News