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USGS REPORTS FINAL 2014 STONE PRODUCTION.

By Mark S. Kuhar

An estimated 540 million metric tons (Mt) of total construction aggregates was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2014, an increase of 7 percent compared with that of the same period of 2013. The 16 TRENDING 400estimated annual output of construction aggregates produced for consumption in 2014 was 2.17 billion metric tons (Gt), an increase of 7 percent compared with that of 2013, according to USGS Crushed Stone Commodity Specialist Jason Willett.

An estimated 317 Mt of crushed stone was produced and shipped for consumption in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2014, an increase of 9 percent compared with that of the same period of 2013. The estimated annual output of crushed stone produced for consumption in 2014 was 1.27 Gt, an increase of 8 percent compared with that of 2013.

The estimated U.S. output of construction sand and gravel produced and shipped for consumption in the fourth quarter of 2014 was 223 Mt, an increase of 5 percent compared with that of the same period of 2013. The estimated annual output of construction sand and gravel produced for consumption in 2014 was 904 Mt, an increase of 7 percent compared with that of 2013.

Shipments of portland cement increased by an estimated 9.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, and annual consumption increased by an estimated 8.3 percent in 2014, compared with consumption in 2013. This information is obtained from the USGS monthly survey of U.S. cement producers.

The USGS numbers are a more detailed examination of previously released 2014 production statistics. “Since 2006, we have experienced three years of huge decreases followed by four years of little change; 2014 was a long deserved bright spot,” Willett said.

Construction Aggregates

The estimated production for consumption of construction aggregates in the fourth quarter of 2014 increased in seven of the nine geographic divisions compared with that sold or used in the fourth quarter of 2013. In the fourth quarter, production for consumption of aggregates increased in 34 of the 43 states for which estimates were made.

The estimated total annual production for consumption of construction aggregates in 2014 increased, compared with that of 2013, in 38 of the 50 states for which estimates were made. The five leading states were, in descending order of total annual output for 2014, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois. Their combined total annual output was 638 Mt, an estimated increase of about 11 percent when compared with that of 2013.

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Crushed Stone

The estimated production for consumption of crushed stone in the fourth quarter of 2014 increased in six of the nine geographic divisions compared with that sold or used in the fourth quarter of 2013. Production for consumption of crushed stone increased in 30 of the 46 states for which estimates were made.

The five leading states were, in descending order of production for consumption, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio and Missouri. Their combined total production for consumption was 109 Mt and represented 35 percent of the U.S. total.

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Sand and Gravel

The estimated production for consumption of construction sand and gravel in the fourth quarter of 2014 increased from fourth quarter 2013 levels in five of the nine geographic divisions. Production for consumption of construction sand and gravel increased in 30 of the 45 states for which estimates were made.

The five leading states were, in descending order of production for consumption, Texas, California, Michigan, Minnesota and Washington. Their combined total production for consumption was 76.8 Mt and represented 34 percent of the U.S. total.

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Mineral Commodities Summary

U.S. mine and plant production data for selected mineral commodities are provided monthly (or quarterly) by the U.S. Geological Survey to the Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System (FRS), for use in preparing its index of industrial production and the related capacity indexes and capacity utilization rates.

These measures cover manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities, and they are among the key economic indicators monitored by the FRS for guidance in determining national monetary policy. The data in this report include current and prior months’ production data provided to the FRS, some of which have been revised, according to Elizabeth Sangine, chief, mineral commodities section at the National Minerals Information Center, USGS.

  • Domestic production of construction materials (cement, construction sand and gravel, and crushed stone combined) in the fourth quarter of 2014 decreased by approximately 18 percent compared with that in the third quarter of 2014.
  • Production of gypsum increased by 3 percent compared with that in the third quarter of 2014. 

Production for these mineral commodities in 2014 was about 8 percent greater than during 2013.

During the fourth quarter of 2014, aluminum production decreased slightly by 1 percent and copper, gold, molybdenum, and silver production decreased by 9 percent, 5 percent, 3 percent, and 7 percent, respectively, compared with production in the third quarter of 2014. 

Lead and zinc production increased by 3 percent and 7 percent, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared with that in the third quarter of 2014. 

With the exception of aluminum, where production was unchanged and gold where production declined by about 8 percent, production in 2014 for these metal commodities increased between 6 percent and 11 percent.


Methodology

This sample survey generates production-for-consumption estimates by quarters, based on information reported voluntarily by a limited number of producing companies. In most quarters, a few companies may report amounts sold in the current quarter that vary greatly from the amounts reported in the previous year during the same quarter.

This change in sales is rarely an indicator of the change in the demand in the State as a whole. Typically a large change in sales can be attributed to the opening or closing of an operation, the weather, or an external force that only the company or one of its operations experienced in that quarter.

Previously reported data are occasionally Previously reported data are occasionaly Srevised, and the estimated quantities for the prior quarters are then recalculated. The latest release of the quarterly Mineral Industry Surveys contains the most recent estimated totals and supersedes previously published reports. Source: USGS