The US cement industry continues a long slow recovery from the sharp downturn which began after the general economic crisis in 2008.
Between 2010 and 2019, shipments grew at a cumulative average growth rate of 3.9% per year from 78.4 million tons in 2010 to 110.2 million tons in 2019.
The chart above has been updated based on the annual mineral commodity summary published by the US Geological Survey in January 2020, which includes some minor revisions to data reported for the the prior years.
The full year volumes in 2019 remained well below the previous peak for annual shipments of 2005. Annual shipments of 110.2 million tons in 2019 were 33 million tons, or 23%, 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 2019 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 increased by 9.2% in 2019 over the prior year in its annual commodity survey published in January 2020. Net cement and clinker imports of 16.6 million short tons accounted for 15% of 2019 shipments.
Shipments of cement totaled 114 million US short tons (103 million metric tons) in 2019, up by 3.2% over the prior calendar year. The top eight cement consuming states - Texas, California, Florida, Ohio, Georgia, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania accounted for 50% of consumption in 2019.
Texas was the leading destination of US cement shipments in 2019 accounting for 17% of US cement consumption. Three of the top ten residential construction markets, measured by permit activity, were in Texas in 2019. These are Houston, Dallas and Austin.
The same 5 states dominated cement consumption in both 2019 and 2018: