(August 2009) The figures published by the Spanish Natural Stone Association FDP are dramatic: It is believed that production for the first half of 2009 has dropped by 50%. 30% decrease in employment in the branch as well as commensurate cutbacks in subcontracting and supply could result.
2008 already saw a decline of 18% in total, of which 7.25% fell on quarry workers and nearly 20% on the producing industry.
Companies declined by a total of 8% in 2008. Filing for bankruptcy was significant, too: 15% of quarries closed down in contrast to 1.56% of producing companies.
The background is not only the world wide financial crisis, but also the demise of the local real estate market and building industry. The table (see below) shows the extent of the decline.
Brazil also feeling the pinch
Brazil saw a similar development from January to May 2009: Exports went back 40% in value or 35% in tonnage. Imports in stone saw a similar decline.
For the whole of 2009 no improvement is in sight according to the trade association Abirochas: „Exports will probably fall back to 2004 levels of about 600 million $.“ During the boom years of the recent past the 1 billion $ export hurdle had been taken, readers will recall.
Statistics Spain (Spanish)
Statistics Brazil (Portuguese)