Texas leads nation in crushed stone production, nationwide production down 4 percent

Tina Grady Barbaccia

March 29, 2012

Crushed stone production was about 1.11 billion tons in 2011, a 4-percent decrease compared with that of 2010, according Jason Christopher Willett, mineral commodity specialist for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Apparent consumption also decreased to about 1.15 billion metric tons. Willett says USGS anticipates that demand for crushed stone to be slightly less for 2011 because of the continuing slowdown in activity that some of the principal construction markets have experienced during the last five years. “Long-term increases in construction aggregates demand will be influenced by activity in the public and private construction sectors, as well as by construction work related to security measures being implemented around the nation,” according to Willett. “The underlying factors that would support a rise in prices of crushed stone are expected to be present in 2012, especially in and near metropolitan areas.”

Crushed stone valued at $11 billion was produced by 1,600 companies operating 3,900 quarries, 93 underground mines, and 207 sales/distribution yards in 50 states, according to Willett’s USGS report. Top states in descending order of production, were Texas, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, Georgia, and Florida, together accounting for one-half of the total crushed stone output.

Of the total crushed stone produced in 2011, about 70 percent was limestone and dolomite; 14 percent, granite; 6 percent, traprock; 5 percent, miscellaneous stone; 4 percent, sandstone and quartzite; and the remaining 1 percent was divided, in descending order of tonnage, among marble, slate, calcareous marl, volcanic cinder and scoria, and shell. It is estimated that of the 1.15 billion tons of crushed stone consumed in the United States in 2011, 46 percent was reported by use, 27 percent was reported for unspecified uses, and 27 percent of the total consumed was estimated for non-respondents to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) canvasses.

Of the 512 million tons reported by use, 82 percent was used as construction material, mostly for road construction and maintenance; 10 percent, for cement manufacturing; 2 percent each, for lime manufacturing and for agricultural uses; and 4 percent, for special and miscellaneous uses and products. To provide a more accurate estimate of the consumption patterns for crushed stone, the “unspecified uses — reported and estimated,” as defined in the USGS Minerals Yearbook, are not included in the above percentages.

The estimated output of crushed stone in the 48 conterminous states shipped for consumption in the first 6 months of 2011 was 507 million tons, a decrease of 3.7 percent compared with that of the same period of 2010. Second quarter shipments for consumption decreased by 6.5 percent compared with those of the same period of 2010.

Additional production information, by quarter for each State, geographic division, and the United States, is reported in the USGS quarterly Mineral Industry Surveys for Crushed Stone and Construction Sand and Gravel. For the USGS Mineral Commodities Report, go to http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/stone_crushed/index.html#mcs

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