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Crushed stone, sand and gravel production up in first quarter 2020

By |  June 1, 2020
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Aggregate production was up in the first quarter of the year, with sand and gravel production experiencing a greater increase than crushed stone: P&Q staff

First-quarter aggregate production was up about 3 percent this year, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports.

The estimated U.S. output of construction aggregate produced and shipped for consumption in the first quarter was 464 million metric tons (Mt). Production for consumption increased in six of USGS’s nine geographic divisions compared with that sold or used in the first quarter of 2019, the agency says.

In addition, production for consumption increased in 31 of the 41 states USGS estimated. The five leading states were Texas, California, Florida, Arizona and Pennsylvania. Their combined total production for consumption was 155 Mt – an increase of 5 percent over the first quarter of 2019.

The first-quarter estimates USGS captured are based on a quarterly sample survey of aggregate producers.

Crushed stone

Of the 464 Mt of construction aggregate produced and shipped for consumption, about 291 Mt was crushed stone. The 291 Mt produced for consumption in the first quarter was a slight increase over 2019’s first-quarter mark.

For the quarter, crushed stone production for consumption increased in six of USGS’s nine geographic divisions. Also, production for consumption increased in 32 of the 45 states for which estimates were made.

The five leading states in crushed stone were Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia. Their combined total production for consumption was 103 Mt.

Sand and gravel

Sand and gravel production for consumption also increased in the first quarter, coming in at 173 Mt. That figure is up 6 percent over the first quarter of 2019.

According to USGS, sand and gravel production for consumption increased in seven of the agency’s nine geographic divisions.

Production for consumption increased in 29 of the 45 states for which estimates were made. The five leading states in sand and gravel were Texas, California, Arizona, Washington and Florida. Their combined total was 69.6 Mt – an increase of 3 percent compared with the first quarter of 2019.

About USGS’s process

USGS’s quarterly sample survey generates production-for-consumption estimates by quarters, based on information reported voluntarily by a limited number of producing companies.

In most quarters, a few companies may report amounts sold in the current quarter that differ greatly from amounts reported in the previous year during the same quarter. This change in sales is almost never an indicator of the change in the demand in the state as a whole, USGS says. The reason for a large change can be the opening or closing of an operation, weather or an external force that only the company or one of its operations experienced in that quarter.

Previously reported data is occasionally revised, the agency adds, and the estimated quantities for the prior quarters are then recalculated.

Portland cement

USGS also captured data on shipments of portland and blended cement, which increased 8 percent in the first quarter of 2020. USGS obtained its cement data from a monthly survey of U.S. cement producers.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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