Shipments of portland and blended cement in the U.S. and Puerto Rico were up in March, while clinker production held steady. Credit: Kevin Krebs; Flickr; CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

If you work in the construction or cements industries (and I know a lot of you do), you’re likely a happy camper.

Shipments of portland and blended cement in the U.S. and Puerto Rico were up in March, according to a report from the U.S. Geological Survey. More than 6.1 million metric tons were shipped—an increase of 6 percent over March 2013 figures.

More good news? Shipments for the year sit at 15.7 million metric tons—more than 3 percent what they were at the same time last year.

Texas, California, Missouri, Florida, and Alabama topped the list of portland cement-producing states; Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana were the top consumers, receiving just under half (45 percent) of total shipments for the month.

Clinker production remained mostly unchanged from the year previous, though production for the year is up by 4.3 percent (14.3 million metric tons since January). Texas, California, Missouri, Florida, and Alabama led the way in clinker production.

This is the third month in a row (see here and here) that cement shipments were up, figures that fall in line with construction and cement consumption forecasts by the Portland Cement Association. PCA expects growth of 7.9 percent for cement consumption in 2014—and double-digit growth in both 2015 and 2016—despite signs that the U.S. economy has softened.

“The weather conditions had an obvious impact on cement consumption—limiting construction and concrete use. The northern states and much of the east coast were hit hard, with year-over-year losses of as much as 25 percent,” says PCA Chief Economist Edward Sullivan. “However, despite this drag, nation-wide cement recorded gains.”

Feature image credit: judy_and_ed; Flickr; CC BY-NC 2.0