Turkey’s exports to the US and to UAE: „Sales up, income down!“

Marble Trend #38.

Turkish stone magazine Marble Trend scolds the nation’s stone sector for low profit compared the Italy, Greece and even China

When Çağlayan Sueli, editor-in-chief of the Turkish trade journal Marble Trend, is upset he becomes ironical: „There are some films that make some cry and also make some laugh…“ his analysis of Turkish exports to the US starts. First he gives the good news to make his readers smile gladly: in 2015 Turkey was the biggest exporter of processed marble to the United States. It sold 730,660 t of marble which was more than half of total US marble imports (1,231,298 t).

But, now the bad news „that make us upset“ the report continues: although the amount in tons had increased by 9% in 2015 compared to the year before, „the income fell by 3,5%“ (2014: a good 293 million $, 2015: only nearly $ 283 million $).

Looking at the price per ton things were even worse: „Turkey ranks at 9th place“ (with 387.1 US-$ per ton). The ranking was: Greece reached 1,304 $/t (with only a tiny volume), followed by Italy (1,252 $/t), China (1,207.2 $/t) France (1,049 $/t) and India (1,006 $/t).

And more: for Turkish exports „the price per ton fell by 146 $ in the last 3 years“: in 2012 it had been 454 $/t, 2014: 437.6 $/t, 2015: 387.1 $/t. There had only be one increase from 2012 to 2013 (533 $/t).

Meanwhile, Italy reached a good increase (2014: 1,087.7 $/t. 2015: 1,252.3 $/t). China suffered only a minor drop (2014: 1,234 $/t, 2015: 1,207.2 $/t).

These data are published on page 100-108 of the issue #38 of Marble Trend. On page 77-82 of the same issue, Sueli had already given low points for the performance of Turkey’s stone sector: In exportation to the United Arab Emirates China was first with a share of 38.1%, followed by Italy (18.9%), Turkey and India 10.4%) and Spain (6.8%).

In this important market for hi-value products, the other part of Sueli’s film was even more tearful for Turkish viewers: per ton „Italy earns $ 1,102, China $ 837, Greece $ 774, Spain $ 720 and Turkey $ 563“ (in 2015). Here again Greece reached only a small volume.

The UAE-data were published in a speech by Rüstem Çetinkaya, vice-president of Istanbul Mineral Exporters’ Association (IMIB), at a dinner at the Middle East Stone Show in Dubai.

Sueli adds an interesting observation for the UAE: in the last 5 years, the price the country paid per imported ton dropped significantly. „One can conclude from this fact that they either seek cheaper materials or make better bargain or the firms lower the prices as a result of international rivalry.“

Marble Trend #38

Translation: pebe
(06.12.2016, USA: 12.06.2016)