2023-slump in demand for ceramic tiles from Italy worldwide: -22.1% for exports compared to the previous year, -8.7% for sales within Italy

Press conference of Confindustria Ceramica, December 2023. Center: head of the association Giovanni Savorani. Source: Confindustria

Main reasons are increased costs for energy and raw materials, high interest rates

We occasionally look to the natural stone sector‘s competitors to see what their associations and companies are up to. This time: the 2023 statistics of the Italian ceramics industry:

Italy’s ceramic industry is going through a very difficult time. “Demand for ceramic tiles fell sharply on all continents throughout 2023,“ said the Confindustria Ceramica association at the annual press conference in December 2023. Overall, there was a slump of (-)19.3% compared to the previous year. This amounted to -22.1% for exports and -8.7% for sales within Italy.

A total of 362 million square meters were sold in 2023 (exports: 277 million, domestic: 85 million). “The decline in exports affected Western Europe and North America in particular,“ the association states in its press release.

The German-speaking industry magazine 1200Grad adds: “The decline in demand in Germany, one of the main markets, has hit Italian tile manufacturers particularly hard. Exports to the USA have also plummeted by 25%.“

And further: “In line with demand, tile production has also shrunk by 90 million square meters or 20.9% year-on-year to around 341 million square meters.“

“Confindustria expects a further decline in demand in 2024.“

Companies have now resorted to drastic measures: around 6,000 employees, which is around a third of the total workforce, have been registered for short-time work. Some companies have extended the Christmas vacations until mid-January 2024, while others are using the shutdown do necessary maintenance work.

The main reasons are increased costs for energy and raw materials as well as high interest rates. The global construction slowdown is also having an impact.

At the beginning of November 2023, the association organized the “Ceramic Days“ in Brussels, where it presented the “Ceramic Manifesto 2024-2029,“ which sets out the political course the industry believes is necessary.

Confindustria Ceramica (italienisch)

1200Grad (German)

(22.12.2023, USA: 12.22.2023)