The North American lime industry has suffered a volatile time since the 2008-09 downturn of the global economy, which hit its main markets, such as steel and the construction markets, hard.
But, while the sector is not back yet to the pre-crisis levels, it has seen some improvement during the past year.
The US lime industry is doing fairly well, although a number of plants remain shut. Some of these are old and may never reopen in their present state, Michael Miller, US Geological Survey (USGS) lime specialist, told IM.
Production-wise, the industry has recovered a significant amount of the sales lost during the recession, he added.
According to the USGS, consumption/production fell by 20% during the 2008-09 recession to less than 15.8m tonnes. Estimated production for 2011 bounced back to 19.1m tonnes, but that is still almost 2m tonnes off the peak year of 2006,...