Domestic production and prices of crude processed perlite in the United States were estimated to have increased in 2012 compared with 2011. Perlite trade, both imports and exports, slowed in 2012 compared with 2011. With imports of perlite down by about 13 percent and domestic production up slightly, the balance resulted in a consumption decrease of about 20 kt (22,000 st). The estimated amount of processed perlite sold or used from U.S. mines in 2012 rose to 424 kt (467,000 st) from the upwardly revised total of 420 kt (463,000 st) sold or used in 2011. U.S. consumption of crude processed perlite increased in 2010 and 2011, but 2012 consumption was estimated to have decreased by about 3 percent to 557 kt (614,000 st). However, these 2012 estimates are still 19 percent higher than the consumption of 2009, when only 468 kt (516,000 st) of perlite was consumed (Table 1). Significantly increased U.S. construction activity during late 2012 likely indicates increased consumption of building materials, the leading market for perlite.