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USGS Releases Preliminary 2019 Production Volume

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released its 2020 Mineral Commodity Summaries publication, in which it gives its first, preliminary look at 2019 U.S. aggregates production. According to the publication, total aggregates production was approximately 2.5 billion metric tons (Gt), an increase of approximately 6% over 2018.

In 2019, 1.53 billion tons of crushed stone valued at more than $18.7 billion was produced by an estimated 1,430 companies operating 3,440 quarries and 176 sales and (or) distribution yards in 50 states, an increase of approximately 8%.

Leading states were, in descending order of production, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Georgia, Virginia, Illinois and Kentucky, which combined accounted for more than one-half of the total crushed stone output. 

Of the total domestic crushed stone produced in 2018, about 69% was limestone and dolomite; 15%, granite; 6%, traprock; 5%, miscellaneous stone; 3%, sandstone and quartzite; and the remaining 2% was divided, in descending order of tonnage, among marble, volcanic cinder and scoria, calcareous marl, slate, and shell.

It is estimated that of the 1.6 billion tons of crushed stone consumed in the United States in 2019, 72% was used as construction aggregate, mostly for road construction and maintenance; 16% for cement manufacturing; 8% for lime manufacturing; 3% for other chemical, special, and miscellaneous uses and products; and 2% for agricultural uses.

In 2019, 970 million tons of construction sand and gravel valued at $9.0 billion was produced by an estimated 3,870 companies operating 6,830 pits and 342 sales and distribution yards in 50 states, an increase of approximately 3.5%.

Leading producing states were Texas, California, Arizona, Minnesota, Michigan, Washington, Ohio, New York, Utah and Colorado, in order of decreasing tonnage, which together accounted for about 55% of total output.

It is estimated that about 46% of construction sand and gravel was used as concrete aggregates; 21%, for road base and coverings and road stabilization; 13%, as construction fill; 12%, as asphaltic concrete aggregates and other bituminous mixtures; 13%, as construction fill; and 4%, for other miscellaneous uses. The remaining 4% was used for concrete products, filtration, golf course maintenance, plaster and gunite sands, railroad ballast, road stabilization, roofing granules, and snow and ice control.

In 2019, U.S. portland cement production increased by 2.5% to 86 million tons, and masonry cement production continued to remain steady at 2.4 million tons. Cement was produced at 96 plants in 34 states, and at two plants in Puerto Rico. 

U.S. cement production continued to be limited by closed or idle plants, underutilized capacity at others, production disruptions from plant upgrades, and relatively inexpensive imports. In 2019, sales of cement increased slightly and were valued at $12.5 billion. 

Most cement sales were to make concrete, worth at least $65 billion. In 2019, it was estimated that 70% to 75% of sales were to ready-mixed concrete producers, 10% to concrete product manufactures, 8% to 10% to contractors, and 5% to 12% to other customer types. Texas, California, Missouri, Florida, Alabama, Michigan and Pennsylvania were, in descending order of production, the seven leading cement-producing states and accounted for nearly 60% of U.S. production.