With very strong industry shipments in September, the total U.S. wallboard demand through nine months is up 3.4 percent to 23,757 million square feet, reported Gypsum Today.com. On an annualized basis, this puts 2004 industry wallboard demand just less of 32 billion.

The largest increase in demand is west of the Rockies (plus 12 percent) with only the mid-Atlantic region showing a decline (minus 2 percent).

As 2003 is forecasted to be another record year for wallboard demand, speculation is that 2004 will also show high results in the market. Gypsum Today also forecasts that the new residential segment may see a slight decline (approximately 5 percent) with increases in the commercial, and repair and remodel segments providing some offset to any new residential decline.