US and Puerto Rico Portland and blended cement market contracts 4% in 1Q24

US and Puerto Rico Portland and blended cement market contracts 4% in 1Q24
19 June 2024

Total cement shipments of Portland and blended cement in the USA and Puerto Rico, including imports, declined by 8.1 per cent YoY to 8.01Mt in March 2024, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). Texas, Florida, California, Arizona and Georgia accounted for 45.3 per cent of March deliveries. The leading producing states for Portland and blended cement were Texas, Missouri, California, Florida and Alabama.

Masonry cement deliveries dropped 16.3 per cent YoY  to 186,000t in March 2023. Florida, Texas, California, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia accounted for 62.9 per cent of March shipments.

In March 2024 the US produced 5.58Mt of clinker, slightly up when compared to March 2023. The leading clinker producing states were California, Texas, Florida, Missouri and Alabama.

Cement and clinker imports into the US and Puerto Rico remained stable at 1.96Mt in March 2024 when compared with March 2023.

First-quarter 2024
In the January-March 2024 total shipments of Portland and blended cement in the USA and Puerto Rico fell 4.4 per cent YoY to 21.4Mt. Of the blended volume in this period, 11.0Mt, or 98 per cent, was estimated to be Portland limestone cement (Type IL), which was mainly shipped to Texas.

Masonry cement dispatches declined 9.5 per cent YoY to 530,000t.

US clinker production slipped by five per cent YoY to 15.4Mt in the first three months of 2024.

Cement and clinker imports in the 1Q24 declined by five per cent YoY to 5.49Mt when compared with the 1Q23.

The US cement market disappointed in the first quarter of 2024 with sales, production and imports all contracting. 

Weakness in the residential construction sector is weighing on demand for cement. Housing under construction contracted 2.4 per cent YoY in the first four months of 2024, adding to the 0.8 per cent fall recorded in 2023; while building permits fell 0.5 per cent YoY in January to April period, with a notable fall off in multi-unit permits. Elevated interest rates, which are not expected to start falling until later in the year, are weighing heavily on housing affordability. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has averaged 6.9 per cent this year, from a low of 2.65 per cent in mid-2021. 

Nevertheless, a modest expansion in cement demand is forecast for 2024, driven largely by infrastructure construction. In 2023 non-residential building spending jumped 19.8 per cent YoY and structures investment grew 13.2 per cent YoY, boosted by the government’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Of the US$1.2trn package, roughly US$550bn is earmarked directly for new projects and the US Portland Cement Association estimates the deal will add 46Mt to cement consumption over its five-year period.

Published under Cement News