(September 2008) Italy’s stone branch is sure that it has good prospects for growth particularly in the high-end products. To site the Cosmave fair-trade president of the Apua-Versiglia region: „Low cost products, nuhewn or processed, are increasingly dominated by Chian, Turkey, Brazil and India.“ On the other hand – further to the press material of the fair organisation – new markets for quality and luxury goods are emerging there as well.
The chief of the Confidustria Marmomacchine sees the greatest potential for growth for the natural stone industry east of Italy. „There is increased demand in the Arab Emirates and Eastern Europe, under the lead of Russia and its magnates, based on the huge capital generated by sales of petroleum and natural gas.“
The export of processd and semi-finished goods in these countries saw considerable increases compared to 2007: increased turnover of exports to Russia reached 36.5% equalling 47.4 million Euro nominally( 2006: 34,7 million Euro), and 15.1% for the Arab Emirates (60,6 million for 2007 compared to 52.7 million Euro the year before). Similarly, turn-over in trade with Poland and Croatia increased by 27,6% (19.8 million Euro for 2007 compared to 15.5 million Euro the previous year) and 17.3% (19.6 million Euro compared to 16.7 Million Euro for 2006) respectively.
Exports to the USA and Germany having previously comprised 42% of Italy’s exports of processed and semi-finished goods decreased by 12.3% (totalling 6676 million Euro 2007 compared to 765 million Euro the previous year).
Itally exported processed material and semi-finished stone goods totalling 1.616 billion Euro in 2007 which represents a small decrease in turn-over by 0.8% compared to 2006. Imports of stone blocks decreased by 5.5 % to 442.1 million Euro whereas the figures for export reflect an increase of 4.3% to 246.3 million Euro.