The US cement industry continues a slow but steady recovery from the downturn resulting from the general economic crisis in 2008.
Between 2010 and 2020, shipments grew at a cumulative average growth rate of 4.0% per year from 78.4 million tons in 2010 to 116.0 million tons in 2020.
The chart above has been updated based on the annual mineral commodity summary published by the US Geological Survey as updated in April 2021, The 2020 report includes some minor revisions to data reported for the the prior years.
The full year volumes in 2020 remained well below the previous peak for annual shipments of 2005. Annual shipments of 116.0 million tons in 2020 were 27 million tons, or 19%, below that prior peak year.
As the US cement industry nears manufacturing capacity, additional volumes require increased imports of cement. US cement production capacity has been relatively stagnant over the past decade. Additional investments in modernization for efficiency and increased production volume at some locations were largely offset by capacity eliminated.
Economic decisions related to the additional investment otherwise required to bring individual older plants up to the stringent emissions limits of the 2010 National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants regulations or market conditions in specific geographies led to these offsetting capacity eliminations
In 2020 net imports accounted for 15% of US cement shipments.
Imports as a percentage of shipments peaked at 26% of shipments in 2006 and fell to 7% of US shipments by 2011.
The US Geological Survey reported that imports of cement and clinker increased by 6% in 2020 over the prior year in its annual commodity survey published in January 2020. Net cement and clinker imports of 18 million short tons accounted for 15% of 2020 shipments.
Shipments of cement totaled 116 million U.S. short tons (105 million metric tons) in 2020, up by 1.7% over the prior calendar year. The top eight cement consuming states - Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, and New York accounted for 50% of U.S. consumption in 2020.
Texas was the leading destination of US cement shipments in 2020 counting for 17% of US cement consumption. Three of the top ten residential construction markets, measured by permit activity, were in Texas in 2020. These are Houston, Dallas and Austin.
Three states states dominated cement consumption in both 2020 and 2019:
These three states were the destination of one third of U.S, cement shipments in 2020