Cement industry – literally the building block of the national construction industry. Very little new construction activity can be undertaken without the use of cement and concrete. Annual cement industry shipments are estimated at $ 11.9 billion in 2007. U.S. cement production is widely dispersed with the operation of 116 cement plants in 36 states. The largest company produces 12.6.
% Of total industry, and the top five companies collectively produce 51.2%. Foreign companies now owned 80.5% of U.S. cement capacity. Cement consumption in 2007, the United States consumed 110.3 million metric tons of Portland cement, reflecting a decrease of 9.5% of 2006 levels. Much of this weakness was the result of weakness in residential construction. Residential construction spending amounted to $ 829 billion in 2007, a decrease of 5.7% from 2006 levels. Approximately 74% of all cement shipments are sent to operators of concrete finished compound.
Plants sent 13.8% of cement, which they made to concreted product manufacturers, 6% to contractors, and 3% of dealers building material. Cement consumption is seasonal. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. cement consumption occurs in the six months between May and October. Seasonal nature of industry may lead to a wide variation in the cement and slag (unfinished raw material) inventories at cement factories throughout the year. Cement manufacturers will typically create inventories during the winter and send them over summer. The cement industry is also regional in nature. Since the cost of shipping cement quickly overtakes its value, customers traditionally purchase cement from local sources. Almost 98% of the U.S. cement sent to his cutsomers truck. Barge and rail ways to make up the remaining modes of distribution. Import fills the gap Production Estimates pca, the U.S. cement plants have achieved an average total utilization rate 93.4% in 2007. Even at these high operating standards, domestic production can not meet the full cement consumption of the United States. The gap between domestic production and consumption was completed in 2007 to 22.7 million metric tons of imported cement and cement slag. Approximately 83% of cement and slag, imported in 2007 came from five major countries: China, Canada, Colombia, Mexico and the Republic Korea. Imports from China in 2007 had reduced to 7.5 million metric tons lower by 41.0% from 2006 levels. Export of cement exceeds 1% of the total U.S. production. Almost all exports serves adjacent Canadian market. In 2007, United States exported 1.6 million metric tons of cement in Canada.