Markets: Stone consumption in Germany in decline

Stone+tec in the springtime: birds had built their nests in fair-ground ashtrays.(June 2009) Fringe observations at the Stone+tec fair in Nuremberg: in order to keep everything clean, as Germans like it, new ashtrays were set up at the fair. Smokers, however, could not use them: it was spring and bird had used the receptacles to build their nests. Ecologically concerned as Germans also are, visitors were asked to show respect toward the feathered friends, bilingually.

Statistics pertaining to the natural stone industry in Germany were presented by the German Natural Stone Organisation (Deutscher Naturwerksteinwerkverband, DNV). Negative growth in 2008 amounted to – 9,5 % in value, or – 4,8 % in tonnage. Imports and domestic production also declined. Exports in contrast saw a slight increase (see table).

The Stone+tec closed with a decisive minus: first count of visitors to the fair amounted to 34.000 (compared to 2007: over 40.000). The fair comprised 800 exhibiting companies (2007: 963) from 40 countries (see table). The next Stone+tec will be held at the end of May / beginning of June 2011.

Two prizes were awarded at the fair: the Natural Stone Prize (German) for Architects and the Peter-Parler-Prize for stonemasonry in heritage and conservation.