Sustained growth in consumption of natural stone worldwide

Like some plants also the stone branch knows how to adapt to difficult circumstances.

(November 2013) Natural stone producers or vendors whose customers are spread around the globe have a good chance to withstand financial crisis. That is the bottom line of the Statistical Yearbook „XXIV Report Marble and Stones in the World” by Dr. Carlo Montani. Despite a serious crisis in the USA and sustained recession in Europe the world wide consumption of natural stone increased form 0.7095 billion m² in 2001 to 1.350 ² in 2012 (see table). Statistics are based on 2 cm thick stone slabs.

Per capita consumption shows an increase from 117 (m²/1000 units) to 215 for the same period.

Production increased accordingly: in 2012 123.5 million t were attained; including quarry rubble the figure was some 252.5 million brute t. After value added handling 72.87 million t were at the disposal for sale to consumers. Net production increased by 7 points per year during the last decade.

The author, who bases his statistics for the Italian and English language year book on figures provided by official sources and trade organizations, emphasizes that turnover, including import and export figures, reached a total of 52 million t, a first time breakthrough past the 50 million t mark.

Montani also points out that quarrying and production often are carried out in locations far from one another: Raw material accounts for some 52.3 % of the international exchange. For some years now the blocks are cut mostly in China and no longer in Europe, mainly Italy.

Special analysis Brazil

Montani has analyzed the Brazilian market separately this time. This part of the Yearbook bears the title „Brazil: Western Stone leader“. That pure exaggeration is based on the fact that Montani simply counted Turkey to Asia – maybe meant as a friendly gesture to Abirochas, the Brazilian stone association, which for the first time acted as a sponsor of the book. See table below.

He also mentions the dangerous monoculture in which Brazil‘s stone branch is currently caught: The biggest of Latin America’s countries has practically but one customer: i.e. the USA and its demand for kitchen counter tops and China for the export of raw blocks.

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(09.11.2013, USA: 11.09.2013)