This classification comprises establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of stone, cement, lime, construction sand, and gravel; brick (except refractory); asphalt and concrete mixtures; and concrete, stone, and structural clay products (other than refractories). Distributors of industrial sand and of refractory materials are classified in SIC 5085: Industrial Supplies. Establishments primarily engaged in producing ready-mixed concrete are classified in SIC 3273: Ready-Mixed Concrete.
444190 (Other Building Material Dealers)
421320 (Brick, Stone and Related Construction Material Wholesalers)
Typically, firms in this industry supply mineral-based building materials to building contractors and developers. Brick, stone, and related materials represented 3,159 firms, and about 27 percent of the overall market share in 2003. Sand, gravel and stone also represented 27 percent; ceramic wall and floor tile (not elsewhere classified) accounted for 10 percent; and cement, lime, and related products had more than 16 percent. In 2003, the total sales were approximately $22,704 million, and the average sales per establishment was about $2.70 million. The total number of establishments had increased from 3,351 in 2000 to 3,502 in 2001. Total payroll for 2001 was approximately $1.3 million, and the total number of establishments climbed to 11,698 in 2003.
Merchant wholesalers—those who take title to the goods they sell—accounted for 79 percent of the industry's establishments; 17 percent were manufacturers' sales branches and offices; and the remaining 4 percent were agents, brokers, and commission merchants.
The industry was geographically distributed throughout the United States, with the Midwest, Southeast, and West having a slightly higher share of the industry's establishments. California, Texas, and Florida led in the number of establishments and employees.
By products sold, the segment consisting of brick, block, tile, and sewer pipe commanded approximately 54 percent of industry sales in the 1990s. These were followed by cement, lime, and related products at 25 percent; and sand, gravel, and stone at 21 percent of industry product share. Sand and gravel production was expected to increase by 6.3 percent in 1999, but decrease slightly in 2000, according to the CIT Group. Although crushed stone production increased by 5.5 percent in 1999, it was projected to remain flat in 2000.
Combined, there were approximately 4,200 establishments in the industry in the mid-1990s, employing a labor force of roughly 32,000. The number of establishments were projected to increase to about 4,800 in 1998, with a total workforce of roughly 35,000.
Strong housing and commercial building markets in the mid- to late 1990s continued to provide slow but steady growth for industry sales. According to the CITGroup/Equipment Financing, residential construction increased by 5.6 percent in 1999, but was projected to decrease by 3.5 percent in 2000. Nonresidential construction was expected to flatten in 1999 and decrease slightly
in 2000. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, new construction increased by 6 percent during the first 10 months of 1999, compared to the same period in 1998.
Brick, stone, and related material represented the largest segment of the industry. This segment numbered 3,159 establishments, with combined sales totaling $5,494.8 million. Ceramic wall and floor tile (not elsewhere classified) numbered 1,194 establishments, with $1,630.4 million in sales. The concrete and cinder building products numbered 217 establishments, with $2,776.6 million in sales. The U.S. industry was worth an estimated $11.9 billion in 1995, a growth of approximately 18 percent since 1992. Sales were projected to be slightly lower at $11.3 billion in 1998.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), reported that there were 1.69 million homes built in 2002, an increase of 6 percent over 2001, and it was expected that 1.63 million homes would be constructed during 2003. The U.S. Department of Commerce confirmed this in a report released in March of 2004. According to the report, new construction increased 7.9 percent during the first 3 months of 2004 over the first 3 months of 2003.
The Freedonia Group forecast that the consumption of asphalt would surpass 37 million tons by 2007. The traditional housing construction would drop slightly, but demand would shift to the commercial and industrial markets that were emerging from their 2002 downturn status.
According to the Portland Cement Association (PCA), the demand for cement was also expected to increase by 2 to 3 percent through to 2007. In addition, imported cement was also expected to increase 3 percent during that same time period. This would come after a 6.6 percent decrease in 2002, and 7.2 percent in 2003. It was projected that the increase would come not from residential construction, but from the industrial market. The total cement consumption is expected to increase throughout 2005 by 2.6 percent.
Industry leaders included Granite Rock Company of Watsonville, California; Walker and Zanger Inc. of Mount Vernon, New York; and Livingston-Graham, Inc. of Irwindale, California.
The decrease in employees caused by the sluggish economy in 2001 and 2002 had caused the industry to lower its workforce. However, according to The Portland Cement Association, there was to be an increase of 30,000 to 60,000 construction related employees back in the workforce by December of 2003.
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