Industry shipments of gypsum wallboard in the United States (including imports) were an estimated 9.09 billion square feet in first six months of 2010, down approximately 4% compared with 9.43 billion square feet in the first six months of 2009. We are now estimating that industry shipments in the United States for all of 2010 will be approximately 18.7 billion square feet, or approximately 2% above the 2009 level. U.S. Gypsum shipped 2.22 billion square feet of SHEETROCK® brand gypsum wallboard in the first six months of 2010, an 11% decrease from 2.49 billion square feet in the first six months of 2009. The percentage decline of U.S. Gypsum’s wallboard shipments in the first six months of 2010 compared with the first six months of 2009 exceeded the decline for the industry primarily due to our efforts to maximize realization of the wallboard price increases we announced in March and May of this year and improve profitability. U.S. Gypsum’s share of the gypsum wallboard market in the United States was approximately 25% in the first six months of 2010 compared to 27% in the first six months of 2009. Its share of the gypsum wallboard market in the United States was approximately 25% in the second quarter of 2010 compared to 26% in the first quarter of 2010 and 27% in the second quarter of 2009. Currently, there is significant excess wallboard production capacity industry-wide in the United States. Industry capacity in the United States was approximately 34.4 billion square feet as of January 1, 2010. We estimate that the industry capacity utilization rate was approximately 52% during the first six months of 2010 compared to 51% during the first six months of 2009. We project that the industry capacity utilization rate will remain at approximately that level for the balance of 2010. Despite our realization of some price improvement since the latter part of the first quarter, at such a low level of capacity utilization, there could be further pressure on gypsum wallboard selling prices and gross margins.
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