Producers mined 634 000 t of gypsum in December 2009. This amount was unchanged from that of November 2009 and was 8% less than the output data for December 2008. Synthetic gypsum production was 555 000 t in December 2009, which was 27% more than that of November 2009 and 3% less than that of December 2008. Both mined and synthetic gypsum are used as raw material for wallboard. The wallboard industry is the leading domestic consumer of gypsum. During December 2009, synthetic gypsum accounted for about 38% of the 1.47 million t total supply of gypsum in the United States. Sales of uncalcined gypsum in December 2009, mainly for Portland cement manufacture and for agricultural uses, were 367 000 t, unchanged from that of November 2009 and 13% less than those of December 2008.
Output of calcined gypsum for December 2009 was 958 000 t, which was 10% more than that of November 2009 and 17% less than that of December 2008. Sales of board products were 1.1 million t, equivalent to approximately 125 million m2 (1.35 billion ft2), which was 4% more than those of November 2009 and 18% less than those of December 2008.
According to the US Census Bureau, imports of crude gypsum in December 2009 were 284 000 t, a decrease of 32% from those of November 2009 and 50% less than those of December 2008. The United States imported crude gypsum from three countries in December 2009. Of these imports, Canada accounted for 60%, followed by Mexico with 40%. Imports of crude gypsum from China were negligible.
Gypsum wallboard imports for December 2009 were 17 000 t, equivalent to 1.9 million m2 (20 million ft2). These imports were up 6% from those of November 2009 and 5% less than those of December 2008. The United States imported wallboard products from four countries in December 2009. Canada accounted for 54% of these imports, followed by Mexico with 43%, Colombia with 2%, and China with 1%.
The issue regarding corrosive wallboard imported from China continued to be contentious. The release of corrosive sulfide gasses from some of these imports, which have a high content of elemental sulfur, have been documented (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 2009a). Warm and humid climate conditions are thought to exacerbate sulfide off-gassing. Approximately 2300 complaints of metals corrosion within affected homes, sometimes coupled with reports of home-occupant health ailments, have been received by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 2009b).
Wallboard exports to 23 countries and territories in December 2009 were 63 115 t, equivalent to 7.0 million m2 (75 million ft2). This amount was 8% less than that of November 2009 and 1059% more than the reported December 2008 level. An adjustment by the US Census Bureau in the calculation of 2009 monthly wallboard exports to Canada resulted in the large year-over-year increase. Consequently, the sizeable increase should not be interpreted as an actual rise in exports. Most wallboard exports were shipped to 19 western hemisphere countries, with Canada accounting for 93%, followed by Qatar with 2%. Wallboard exports to Honduras, Mexico, and Panama each accounted for 1%.
All percentages in this report were computed based on unrounded data.
The full report can be found on the USGS website.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 2009a, CPSC Investigation of Imported Drywall Status Report: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, July, 7 p. (Accessed December 9, 2009, at http://www.cpsc.gov/info/drywall/jul2009status.pdf.)
U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission, 2009b, Drywall Information Center: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. (Accessed December 9, 2009, at http://www.cpsc.gov/info/drywall/.)
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/16032010/gypsum_in_december_2009/