In the second quarter of 2011, domestic production for selected construction materials, including cement, construction sand and gravel, and crushed stone, increased significantly compared with the first quarter of 2011, primarily owing to seasonal variations, according to Scott F. Sibley, chief, Mineral Commodities Section for USGS.
Production of other construction raw materials, such as iron ore, increased by 11 percent compared with that of the first quarter 2011 and by 14 percent compared with production in the second quarter of 2010. Shipments of steel increased 5.8 percent for the year-to-date through June compared with those of the same period in 2010 and were likely largely responsible for the increase in iron ore production.
Production of soda ash, used mainly in glass, chemicals, and soap and detergents, did not change significantly compared with production in both the first quarter 2011 and the second quarter 2010. Increases in production for some mineral commodities in the second quarter of 2011 compared with that in the first quarter of 2011 may be partially attributed to increases in total construction spending, which rose, on a seasonally adjusted basis, by about 0.5 percent during the same period, according to Sibley.