Users of cement need to know the capabilities and restraints of the cement industry as it looks forward to serving you in future years. The most important new trend is that the cement industry probably is facing an era of shortage. Cement allocation is likely to begin in a number of regions of the country within the next three years. What will this mean to you, to your companies and to your customers? After careful analysis of the basic data about our industry's capabilities in the United States, the most startling fact to emerge was the trend in cement plant closings. The number of cement plants in the United States reached a peak of 184 about six years ago. It then slowly declined to 180, until a dramatic change began about four years ago. Between January 1968 and January 1971 there were 15 plant closings in the United States and only four new plants were completed. Thus only 169 cement plants remained in operation in early 1971. Furthermore, in checking with the principle heavy equipment suppliers, we found that no totally new plants will be completed in the next two years although many will be modernized an some expanded. To avoid the serious penalties of such a shortage of quality domestic manufacturing facilities, we must recognize a national need to: (1) charge fair selling prices and eliminate chaotic discounting; (2) regulate imports unless the manufacturers or distributors have invested in sufficient silos to avoid interruption of supply due to dock strikes and unless their products can pass comparable quality tests; (3) gain reasonable time periods to define technically suitable environmental standards and to bring facilities into compliance; (4) attract more talent, both technical and non-technical, to continually upgrade production, marketing, and financial skills so as to make the industry's future more secure; (5) translate these practices into a respectable return on investment so as to raise profits for reinvestment and expansion, and attract new equity capital as well.