Italy’s natural stone exports increased by a strong +13.1% from 2021 to 2022 – is this finally the trend reversal, and right away with the bang of an all-time high of €2.13 billion?

Italy traditionally has the whole world as target of its stone exports.

Latest news:
* in the first 5 months of 2023, the overall value of Italian stone exports was stable (-0,1%), but their value increased by +1,9% compared to the same period of the previous year;
* in the first half of 2023, exports to the US went down by (-)7,1% (Italian ceramics: -14%).

Italy’s natural stone sector achieved significant growth in exports from 2021 to 2022, achieving +13.1% year-on-year by value. Even more, one reached an all-time record high of € 2131.8 million. This is also particularly noteworthy because the country has only been able to surpass the magic mark of €2 billion in terms of shipments abroad once before (namely in 2015 with €2008 billion), after which it experienced a dramatic decline until 2019, to just €1503 million in 2020.

It was not until 2021 that there had been a rise again, which those involved could now perhaps even turn into a trend reversal.

After all, the figures for the 1st quarter of 2023 already show a plus again (+6.3%), at least for finished and semi-finished products.

This is traditionally the strength of Italy’s natural stone companies. This can be read from the sales price achieved per ton: this was €960.83 in the 1st quarter of 2023, which represents an increase of (+)17.9% compared with the same period of the previous year (1st quarter of 2022: €815.45 per ton).

No other country achieves this, and most do not even come close to this statistical average.

At least part of the success in 2022 resulted from increased global demand for natural stone during the Covid pandemic, as citizens upgraded their homes and apartments with valuable natural stone.

Certainly, the efforts of the companies, the national association Confindustria Marmomacchine and the Marmomac trade fair also contributed to the success. Because despite the pandemic, they had not been deterred from bringing out in Verona new ideas for the use of marble & Co.

For this year, one can be curious to see what the cooperation of the fair with the Italian magazine Elle Decor Lifestyle will produce.

The 2022 export figures in detail (each compared with the previous year), as published in the association magazine Marmomacchine International:
* in the market segment for finished and semi-finished products there was an increase of + 15.8% to the total of € 1747.4 million;
* exports of raw blocks remained largely the same (+2.1% to €384.4 million). The main buyer here continued to be China (despite -10.2% to €174.9 million), followed by India (+75.8% to €50.1 million) and, at a considerable distance, Egypt (+24.6% to €17 million).
* the ranking of customers was as follows for finished and semi-finished products: USA (+26.2%, to €512.5 million), Germany (+13% to €165.3 million), France (+15% to €105.4 million), Switzerland (+8.9% to €103.9 million) and Austria (+4.7% to €48.1 million). Out of line fell the United Kingdom (-5.7% to €59.4 million after an increase of +34.2% the year before);
* Middle East: Saudi Arabia (+31.8% to €68 million) United Arab Emirates (+23.2% to €50.6 million).
* Australia (+13.4% to €36.6 million);
* Canada: (+16.6 % to € 33.3 million ).

Marmomacchine International (May/June 2023)

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