(May 2009) 2008 closed with negative growth of 6 % (or 5 % in tonnage) for Italian exporters of natural stone. According to a press release of the IMM Carrara (Italian) only marble blocs and slabs saw slight growth in turnover last year.
Please note: for reasons of comparability, BusinessStone.com has removed figures pertaining to gravel and similar products from the statistics (see table).
There was a sharp loss of turnover in exports to the USA (value: -24.2 %, tonnage: -19,8 %) and to the European Union (value: -10 %, tonnage: -11 %). Markets to the Middle East and Gulf States grew (value: +14 %, tonnage: +3 %) particularly due to export of end products made of marble and travertine. Exports to the Far East increased by 2,4 % in value. Australia was stable in a trend of continuous growth. Africa saw slightly positive export development.
The total of natural stone exports amounted to 1,735 billion € (3,156 billion tons). Imports netted 521,791 million € (2,319 million tons). This represents a negative growth of around 9 % in value and 13 % in tonnage.
Note: like Turkey, Italy, too, is looking east. March marked a meeting (Italian) in Kabul of representatives of the stone branch of Afghanistan to be set forth in the United Arab Emirates soon. The trade association Confindustria Marmomacchine also supports (Italian) companies wishing to participate in the building fair in Kazakhstan.