In 2001, the gypsum board industry saw a slight recovery from the decline in production levels experienced in the previous calendar year, according to the Gypsum Association. During 2001, the 10 U.S. manufacturers of gypsum board (also known as wallboard or drywall) shipped a total of 29.34 billion square feet. This volume represents a small increase in shipments over the same 12-month period of 2000 when production declined to 28.161 from it high-water mark of 29.086 billion square feet in 1999.
Over the past three years, the industry vastly increased its capacity by building new plants and upgrading older sites. During calendar year 2001, all of the industry's new capacity was online; however, some capacity was removed as several older plants were shut down.
Canadian manufacturers saw a small increase in production north of the border at 3.16 billion square feet. Since Canadian manufacturers traditionally ship about one third of their wallboard production to the U.S., this increase in production was most likely tied to the increased demand in the U.S. No new board plants have been built in Canada recently, therefore its national capacity has not increased by as large a percentage as that of the U.S. manufacturers. The Canadian companies saw a small rebound in production during 2001, as their shipments in 2000 declined nearly 22 percent from the previous record-setting year.