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If you followed our Wiki-Wednesday topic and blog post on Market Analysis this week, you know that the following article is a 'test' of a content strategy we are testing for 2012. Obviously research on gypsum is not going to apply to all of you - but no product or service is. Please review the content and format of the following and submit your feedback.  You may also want to read the Wikipedia article on Market Analysis and an overview of the process we used to collect the following information.


Gypsum - Gypsum is a very soft sulfate mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate, with the chemical formula CaSO4·2H2O.[3] It is found in alabaster, a decorative stone used in Ancient Egypt. It is the second softest mineral on the Mohs Hardness Scale. (Wikipedia, Gypsum)

Gypsum board/wallboard (drywall) - a panel made of gypsum plaster pressed between two thick sheets of paper. It is used to make interior walls and ceilings. (Wikipedia, Drywall)

Overview (Taken from the Gypsum Association Brochure)

  • Today, the composite industry includes eight manufacturing entities that ship over 99% of all the gypsum board, gypsum panels, and gypsum plaster products sold in the United States and Canada.
  • The U.S. members of the Gypsum Association directly employ over 10,000 individuals and have annual full- capacity sales of more than $10 billion.
  • Standard size gypsum boards are 48 or 54 inches wide and 8 (2440 mm), 10 (3050 mm), 12 (3660 mm), or 14 (4270 mm) feet long. Board is available in thicknesses from 1/4-inch (6.4 mm) to 1-inch (25.4 mm) thick, with the most common being 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) and 5/8-inch (15.9 mm) thick material.
  • Natural gypsum is an abundant commodity that is produced in 85 countries. In 2007, the United States was the second largest global producer of natural gypsum, ranking behind only China. Significant reserves of high-quality natural gypsum exist in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
  • In the United States, gypsum was mined or quarried in 17 states in 20072. In a typical year, approximately one-third of the natural gypsum used to manufacture gypsum board is imported to the U.S. from Canada and Mexico. Gypsum is largely consumed on the continent of origin
  • BMP Note: also see the gypsum table of standards on page 21 (PDF page 23)

Cost Structure

Cost of the material is calculated per Sq. Ft.

BMP Note: Using one of the gypsum installation cost calculators available, I was able to come up with a material cost/sqft of $0.42 – 0.54 and a labor cost of $0.49 - 0.66. The national average for materials and installation is $0.88 – 1.16. Chances are this is a residential rate (versus commercial or non-residential) and so lower volumes will keep the cost higher than a company would hope to see. What the calculator will allow you to do is keep changing the zip code to identify areas where the cost may be higher/lower, as well as to get an idea of the ratio of materials to labor costs.

Government Tracking and Reporting

United States Geological Service

BMP Note: This is a page dedicated to information on gypsum – it doesn't give you pricing, but it does track volume information for sales, production, imports, etc. updated as recently as Q2 2011. There is also contact information for someone who might be able to answer additional questions.

Associations (Wikipedia, Drywall)

Association of Wall and Ceiling Industries International (AWCI)

Ceilings and Interior Systems Construction Association (CISCA)

Gypsum Association (GA)

Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA)

Gypsum Board Supplier Directory Listings (BuilderSpace)

Georgia-Pacific Building Products and Materials - Gypsum Board
Manufactures a wide variety of building materials, including plywood, lumber, panels, engineered lumber, gypsum panel products, drywall, and paperless wallboard.
National Gypsum Co. - Gypsum Board
Manufactures hi-abuse wallboard panels with fire resistant gypsum cores. Product offers greater resistance to surface indentation and impact than fiber-reinforced gypsum panels.
Fire Trak Corp. - Gypsum Board
Develops the Fire Trak System which was created to solve the problem of firestopping the heads of fire-rated partitions, while allowing for movement of roof or floor decks.
Formglas Inc. - Gypsum Board
Supplier of glass reinforced gypsum and cement products for both interior and exterior applications for commercial construction.Plasterglas, Inc. - Gypsum Board
Offers a full line of glass-reinforced gypsum products used in commercial construction.
USG Building Products - Interior Finishes
Manufacturers of building materials for construction and remodeling, including Sheetrock brand gypsum products, drywall, and ceiling systems.

Recent news

Sharp Rise in Gypsum Prices Likely in New Year, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB): November 3, 2011

Gypsum production is heavily dependent on construction industries. Approximately 90% of gypsum is used in the manufacture of wallboard for residential and non-residential building applications. A further 5% is used as an additive in cement production.

The steep decline in the residential and non-residential building sectors over the past five years has greatly affected gypsum demand. Consumption of gypsum fell over 50%, from 41.6 million tons in 2006 to 19.4 million tons in 2010 (United States Geological Service). NAHB forecasts only a modest 1.3% increase in housing starts in 2011, then a 15% rise in 2012. Gypsum demand is expected to closely follow the housing starts forecast, remaining relatively flat in 2011 followed by a moderate increase in 2012.

Gypsum prices generally track demand. As the chart below shows, the gypsum price index, (a component of the producer price index), has by and large moved in line with construction spending over the past 20 years.

BMP Note: If you read the comments posted at the bottom of the above cited new article, there is an indication that a similar report is issues around this time each year and that concerns about significant price increases are unfounded.