www.stone-ideas.com

Markets: Considerably higher returns despite decrease in tonnage

(October 2011) Lower sales but higher turnover. That is the interpretation of Italy’s value-added marble sales exports from January till May 2011 in a nutshell. According to statistics published in Internazionale Marmi e Macchine (IMM) Carrara sales were up by a whopping +6.3% despite a considerable decrease in tonnage (-10.2%. (see table)

Granite finished products increased in value by +12%, but tonnage also increased +8%.

In total exports were up by +10.4% in value and +1.6% in tonnage. Exports totalled 1.654 million t amounting to a turnover of 645,585 million €.

An increase could also be noted in imports, albeit moderate: These were up +3.4% and +2.4%. An exception was granite end products (+22.8% by value, +13.3% by tonnage) for finished products of other types of stone (-19.4% by value and -6.9% by tonnage) as well as for marble slabs (value: -13.2% and -15.7% tonnage).

European countries were the major customers. IMM Carrara’s press release states Germany, Austria, France and Poland as the most important trade partners with Switzerland and Russia showing a „very positive trend“, „while Turkmenistan and Croatia stood out as lively markets but in terms of quantity and with still limited values“.

Exports to the USA were up slightly by +4.4% to a total of 83.8 million €. The reason here, too, is that better prices could be attained. The total tonnage was more or less constant +0.7%. Marble finished products were the major export item.

In the Middle East Italy could also show an increase in turnover. But the total sales to these countries remains moderate at 14 million € according to IMM Carrara.

On the other hand „as regards to China, its imports of raw marble materials are high, yet finished products are lower whereas for India imports of finished products are higher but raw material imports are not taking off.”