According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the total demand for sand and gravel in the U.S. in 2020 will reach 2.485 billion tons, which is basically stable compared with 2019. The total demand for sand and gravel in the U.S. has increased compared with 2015~2018 in the past two years. From the perspective of product structure, natural sand and gravel accounted for 39% of the demand for sand and gravel in the U.S., and crushed stone accounted for 61%. The downstream industry of sand and gravel in the United States is mainly the construction industry. 83% of the sand and gravel are used in the construction field, of which about 1 billion tons are used as cement concrete aggregates.

(Demand and Increase rate of U.S. aggregates)

In 2020, the average price of natural sand and gravel in the U.S. is $9.65/ton, and the price of crushed stone is $12.19/ton. The price of crushed stone is higher than that of natural sand and gravel. The price of aggregates in the United States has been on the rise for many years. Natural sand and gravel have risen by 27% and 31% respectively in the past 10 years. The USGS reported that crushed stone, sand and gravel accounted for about half of all industrial mineral production in the country last year, and crushed stone, sand and gravel created a value of $27 billion.

Price trend of U.S. aggregates

Vulcan Materials and Martin Marietta Materials are the first and second-largest aggregate producers in the U.S., respectively, with 380 and 300 quarries in the United States, respectively. In 2020, the aggregate sales of the two companies were 208.3 million tons and 186.5 million tons, which together accounted for 16% of the U.S. demand for sand and gravel. In 2020, the gross profit per ton of Vulcan Materials aggregates is $5.57/ton, and the gross profit per ton of Martin Marietta Materials is $4.56/ton.

PriceGross profit
Vulcan Materials$14.44/ton$5.57/ton
Martin Marietta Materials$14.77/ton$4.56/ton

Vulcan Materials and Martin Marietta Materials not only produce sand and gravel aggregates, but also concrete and asphalt. Martin Marietta Materials also has a cement business. In 2020, the price of Martin Marietta Materials cement is 7.7 times that of aggregates, and the prices of concrete and cement are basically the same. The price of asphalt is 2.4 times that of cement. The price of cement and concrete in the United States is much higher than that in China, while the price of aggregates in some developed areas in China has surpassed that of the United States. For example, the average price of aggregates in Guangdong has exceeded 110 yuan/ton, but there are still a large amount of aggregates in the central and western regions. The price is seriously low, even only one-tenth of the local cement price, and there is a serious regional imbalance between supply and demand.

Price20192020
Cement$112.75/ton$113.88/ton
Ready-mixed concrete$111.32/ton$113.57/ton
Asphalt$46.75/ton$48/ton
Aggregate$14.33/ton$14.77/ton
2019~2020 Martin Marietta Materials’ cement, concrete, asphalt and aggregate price comparison

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