Rock Products

MAR 2013

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CSI ANNOUNCES 7TH ANNUAL FORUM MEETING Online registration will open in April for the Cement Sustainability Initiative���s annual forum meeting. The event is cohosted by HeidelbergCement and Lafarge, with support from the Cement Association of Canada. The two-day program will be structured around plenary, breakout dialogues sessions and site visit(s) of some of the most outstanding sustainable constructions in the area. Attendees will have the chance to learn about the latest trends in the building materials market worldwide, understand stakeholder expectations, and analyze different approaches to encourage adoption of sustainability elements in mainstream constructions. The meeting will take place at the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond-Vancouver, B.C. For more information, email Yvonne Leung, CSI secretariat, at leung@wbcsd.org. PCA���s Sullivan Projects Bright Future Improving underlying economic fundamen��� tals, the existence of large pent���up demand balances, and the diminishment of economic fiscal cliff uncertainty will combine to result in strong growth rates in 2013 and an in��� crease in cement consumption, said Portland Cement Association (PCA) Chief Economist Ed Sullivan, in a special forecast held at last month���s World of Concrete in Las Vegas. According to Sullivan, there will be an 8.1 percent growth in cement consumption in 2013, significantly higher than the tepid growth projected in its fall 2012 report. The upward revisions reflect adjustments made in light of the recent fiscal cliff accord, recognition of stronger economic momen��� tum, and markedly more optimistic assess��� ments regarding residential construction activity. The January report marked 2012 consumption at 78.5 million metric tons, an 8.9 percent increase compared to 2011. ���Growth in 2013 cement consumption will be largely driven by gains in residential construction,��� Sullivan said. ���Housing starts should reach nearly 950,000 units, with single���family construction near 700,000 starts during 2013. We see starts hitting the one million mark in 2014 or 2015.��� Sullivan did caution, however, that the first quarter of 2013 would actually show de��� clines compared to the same period in 2012. ���It is important to point out that this potential decline in first quarter growth rates does not signal a weakening in market fundamentals, but rather a hangover from favorable 2012 weather conditions. Stronger gains in cement consumption growth are expected during the second quarter,��� he said The accelerated consumption predicted during the second half of 2013 should carry into the following year. PCA projects an increase of 8.3 percent for 2014. PCA also upwardly revised its long���range pro��� jections for 2015���2017. Annual growth during that period is expected to be as high as 9.2 percent. Cement consumption is dictated by the level of construction ac��� tivity and by the prevailing cement inten��� sity. While 2017 cement intensity levels remain well below the pre���recession aver��� ages and upside risks remain, these risks have been significantly reduced. In its January 2013 Intelligence Report, PCA notes the impact of MAP���21 on state and local highway expenditures. ���The new high��� way bill reinforces the likelihood that state and local spending will increase signifi��� cantly during the forecast horizon,��� the re��� port states. ���According to the new highway bill, a tenfold increase in funding of The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) is planned. Com��� pared to existing funding levels of $122 mil��� lion, TIFIA funding increases to $750 million in fiscal 2013 and $1 billion in 2014. These increases provide greater ability for state and local governments to finance large���scale construction projects.��� USGS Releases Cement Summary According to USGS��� Mineral Commodity Summaries 2013, about 71 million tons of portland cement and 2.0 million tons of masonry cement were produced in 2012; the output was from 98 plants in 35 states. Cement was also produced at two plants in Puerto Rico. and closures and idlings of spare kilns at active plants. Although somewhat higher than levels in 2009���2011, sales volumes in 2012 were still nearly 51 million tons less than the record level in 2005. The overall value of sales was about $7.5 billion. Production continued to be very low compared with levels in 2002���2007, which exceeded 90 million tons per year, and reflected recent plant idlings Most of the cement was used to make concrete, worth at least $41 billion. About 70 percent of cement sales went to ready���mixed concrete producers, 11 86 ROCKproducts ��� MARCH 2013 percent to concrete product manufac��� turers, 9 percent to contractors (mainly road paving), 4 percent to oil and gas well drillers, and 3 percent each to building materials dealers and other users. Texas, Missouri, California, Michigan and Florida were, in descending order, the five leading cement���producing states and accounted for about one���half of U.S. production. www.rockproducts.com

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