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USGS survey for July 2016

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World Cement,

The USGS has released its Mineral Industry Survey for shipments of cement in July 2016.

Total shipments of portland and blended cement in the United States and Puerto Rico in July 2016 were about 8.1 million t, down by nearly 13% from sales in July 2015. Although sales in July have typically been less than those in June, in 2013 through 2015, July sales were higher; the July 2016 sales may represent a return to normal consumption patterns. The leading producing States for portland and blended cement in July 2016 were Texas, California, Missouri, Florida, and Michigan, in descending order and these accounted for 41% of the national total. The leading cement-consuming States (Texas, California, Florida, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, in descending order) received 37.5% of the July shipments.

Sales for January through July totalled 51.9 million t, up by 3.7% from the volume in the same period in 2015. Clinker production totalled 6.9 million t in July 2016, down slightly from the output in July 2015. The leading clinker producing States in July were, in descending order, Texas, Missouri, California, Florida, and Alabama. Production for January through July totalled 43.1 million t, up slightly from the same period in 2015.

Masonry cement shipments of about 207 000 t in July 2016 were down by 8.0% from those in July 2015. The leading masonry-cement-consuming States were, in descending order, Florida, Texas, California, North Carolina, and Georgia; these received about 53% of July’s shipments. Shipments for January through July 2016 were 1.4 million t, up by 5.9% from shipments in the same period in 2015.

For some time, imports have been increasing at rates generally higher than for cement sales levels overall. In part, this reflects the collapse of imports during the recession (hence a low basis for comparison), but also a relatively low cost of imports resulting from a combination of low bunker fuel costs, modest ship chartering rates, increased ship availability, and a strong dollar. In some regions, imports are offsetting domestic production constraints related to difficulties in bringing long-idle extra kilns back online. Also, clinker imports have increased, likely temporarily, ahead of expected disruptions to kiln output at certain plants that are undergoing upgrades. July 2016 imports of cement and clinker of about 1.5 million t were almost 38% higher than in July 2015. Imports for January through July totalled 7.7 million t, up by about 27% from those of the same period in 2015.

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