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Masonry Shipments To Approach 16 Billion Units

A new study from Cleveland market researcher Freedonia Group projects that demand for brick and block products will increase 2.2 percent annually to 15.9

A new study from Cleveland market researcher Freedonia Group projects that demand for brick and block products will increase 2.2 percent annually to 15.9 billion units (valued at $7.9 billion) in 2012. According to Brick & Block, growth will be greatest in concrete products, reflecting stronger demand in key nonresidential building markets; and, the clay brick market will benefit from a recovery in residential building activity, especially in new single-family housing, rising from a weak 2007 base.

Consumption of clay brick will increase 1.8 percent annually to 10.8 billion units (valued at $2.6 billion) in 2012, Freedonia staff predict, as clay brick remains a popular siding (nonstructural) material in spite of its higher initial cost relative to other exterior wall materials. Gains derived primarily from rebounding opportunities in new residential markets will be enhanced by more moderate demand for both residential and nonresidential improvement and repair applications, as well as nonbuilding uses.

While structural concrete block typically is the dominant product type, accounting for nearly two-thirds of 2007 demand, decorative concrete block, such as split-face units, will post above-average gains, as will concrete pavers, available in a wide range of colors and patterns for increasingly popular landscape installations. Smaller demand will occur for chimneywork and sewer construction, as somewhat faster growth registers for products used in fencing, paving and landscaping. The latter three applications reflect increasing nonresidential building activity and a growing emphasis on landscaping and pedestrian thoroughfare paving as an alternative to concrete flatwork.

Released in May, the 220-page Brick & Block is available for $4,500 from Freedonia Group, 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326. Further information can be obtained by contacting Corinne Gangloff, 440/684-9600;

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; or, visiting www.freedoniagroup.com.

U.S. BRICK & BLOCK DEMAND
(MILLION UNITS)
% Annual growth
Item 2002 2007 2012 2002-07 2007-12
Clay Brick 9,260 9,880 10,800 1.3 1.8
Structural Block 2,429 2,745 3,115 2.5 2.6
Concrete Pavers 450 700 930 9.2 5.8
Decorative Block 304 440 570 7.7 5.3
Concrete Brick 457 465 485 0.3 0.8
Total Clay & Concrete 12,900 14,230 15,900 2.0 2.2
Source: Freedonia Group, Inc.