Things one doesn't hear much about

Tuesday, October 25, 2005
From the All disaster all the time DeMSM.

I dropped in to the Jim Miller On Politics blog and noticed his brief comments on this NYT Letter to the editor, Industry, Not In Decline, submitted by David Huether who is the chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers.

In his brief letter Mr. Huether states that

...United States manufacturers last year set records for both production and exports...


So I went poking around the NAM site and found this little table and chart of Total Manufacturing Production (presumably US totals) which seems to indicated quite healthy levels of US manufacturing growth in the period 9/03 through 9/05.

So I did a quick google scan to see if there were many reports about a two year period of growth in US manufacturing. Nothing I could easily detect other than some articles about productivity growth in US manufacturing. Is the focus on productivity growth more important or is it simply a way for the DeMSM to position manufacturing growth as "jobless"?

Was anyone aware that between 2000 and 2003 US exports of steel rose from 5.5 million tons to 8 million tons (+~2/3)? It did, or at least so reported SFGate in May of 2004 (the most recent news report of growth in US exports of steel).

Did you know that the US is the world's third largest producer of cement (behind China and India) yet typically imports cement and rarely exports more than 1% or national production? Cement exports are, however, growing. (Well, the "hydraulic" variety anyway - pretty sure that means cement that isn't yet concrete and needs water added which is, to the best of my limited knowledge, pretty much all cement.) The US is apparently feeling the pinch in cement supply due to the building boom in China. Is there some reason US cement producers don't seem to be ramping up exports?

Well, anyway, in this climate of all disasters all the time we rarely hear about little matters like growing (record setting) manufacturing, large rises in steel exports, or the world's third largest cement industry that seems uninterested in exporting to meet global demand.

Update: Here's a somewhat related article in the Economist, From accelerator to brake, that suggests that China has become such a huge consumer and producer of commodoties that her economic hiccups have large ramifications.

5 comments:

Rick Ballard said...

Cement plants are like oil refineries - NIMBY fodder. The big ones in CA are in Riverside and Tehachapi and they were built over forty years ago.

Very good piece, Knuck, the Demsm may think that hiding the ball wrt economic news will work but employent figures accross the board indicate the type of news that people read about in their bank statements. The Demsm hasn't figured out how to hide bank statements yet. Not that they won't give it a try.

Knucklehead said...

Why negativity about cement plants?

Geesh, My Fellow Citizens shriek no end about the loss of "good manufacturing jobs" but God forbid anyone build a plant to produce anything.

Knucklehead said...

Why negativity about cement plants?

Geesh, My Fellow Citizens shriek no end about the loss of "good manufacturing jobs" but God forbid anyone build a plant to produce anything.

Seneca the Younger said...

Well, the "hydraulic" variety anyway - pretty sure that means cement that isn't yet concrete and needs water added which is, to the best of my limited knowledge, pretty much all cement.

Just right: "cement" means "glue" (cf "rubber cement") but it's most commonly used for "Portland cement". Cements which require water are called "hydraulic cements".

"The term cement is also commonly used to refer more specifically to powdered materials which develop strong adhesive qualities when combined with water. These materials are more properly known as hydraulic cements." (Wikipedia )

Rick Ballard said...

Knuck,

They may have scrubbers now (last time I was in one was over twenty years ago) but the process of making cement involves making a lot of cement dust that covers a wide area around the plant. The workers drove real clunkers to work because they wound up with some very peculiar looking paint jobs. Down at Tehachapi the phone and power lines would get a cement build up (drop down?) that looked like Spanish moss. The dew would mix with the dust (hydration) and then the 'moss' would form on the underside of the wire.

Some cement plants used coal in the firing process, too. Lovely sight.