Italian Stone Exports Stall Through 3Q 2014

Category: Stone News Updated: 2014/12/20 Views  Views: 2177       Likes  Likes: 262

CARRARA, Italy The steady growth of worldwide exports of Italian marble and granite of the last five years seemed to hit a pause in the first nine months of 2014.

Click image for chartAccording to statistics processed by the Internazionale Marmi e Macchine (IMM) Carrara Research Department, Italy exported 3,199,205 metric tons of stone materials for a total value of € 1.42 billion, showing a decline (albeit modest) of 0.48 in quantity from the same time last year, balanced by a small increase in value.

In the national picture, the only item continuing a good export growth rate in volume and value is marble blocks and slabs, representing one-third of national exports. In the first nine months of 2014, Italy exported 1,071,244 metric tons of marble blocks and slabs worth € 252.56 million, recording increases of 2.3 in quantity and +5.5 in value.

The total value of exported finished marble products increased by 4.5 (€ 677.6 million) compared to the same time last year, but recorded a decline in quantities of 4 at 647.5 thousand metric tons. All items for granite (blocks, slabs and finished products) and finished products in other stones, however, have declining exports in both quantity and value.

“As always, what weighs on Italian exports of natural stone is the trends in the area markets, the United States and the European Union in particular,” said IMM Chairman Fabio Felici, “and the contraction is due mainly to the reduction in exports of granite to the United States that is only partly compensated by a resumption of European imports of products Made in Italy. The decrease in exports of granite continues a trend that has been apparent for a long while and must be read taking into account the entry of new players on important markets.

“The competitiveness of the Italian industry, on the other hand, emerges in terms of quality and value of the finished product on a demanding and mature market like the European market where exports of white marble increased in quantity and value, offsetting, although not completely, other markets.

“It is a trend that takes on different connotations according to the individual areas, but highlights how the industry has held its own and shows its competitive capacity in the quality and high-added-value segment.”

For the first nine months of this year, Italy exported 162,300 metric tons of quality materials to the United States at a value of € 263.3 million, with a reduction in quantity of 4 from the same time in 2014 and values that remained ??substantially unchanged.

Year-to-year U.S. demand for the Made-in Italy-brand for finished marble products increased by almost 13 in volume (105.3 metric tons) and almost 15 in value (€ 180.38 million) in the first nine months of 2014, but demand for finished granite products is falling, decreasing in quantities from 71,600 tons in the first nine months of 2013 to 54,000 in 2014, (-24.3), and in value from almost €102 million in 2013 to € 78.6 million in 2014.

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