Portugal’s stone exports also declined by double digits in 2020, but there was a significant improvement in yields per ton (+5.47%)

Portugal's natural stone exports in 2020 compared to 2019 (Mundo = world; Intra União Europeia = inside the EU; Extra União Europeia = outside the EU; EFTA = EFTA; OPEP = OPEC; PALOP = Portuguese-speaking countries). Screenshot from the webpage of the Assimagra association.

Of particular interest is that there were significant increases in shipments of processed products to both China and Italy

Portugal’s stone sector also ended the 2020 pandemic year with significant declines in exports: by (-)14.05%, exports by value were down. By tonnage, it was (-)18.51%. In figures, this amounted to €367 million (2019: €426 million) and 1.805 million tons (2019: 2.214 million tons), respectively. These figures were published by the Assimagra association on its webpage.

However, worth noticing was the increase in the price per ton of +5.47%, in figures: €209 per t compared to €192 in the previous year. This means that it was possible to sell more products with a high degree of processing.

What is particularly interesting is that it was possible to supply such end products even to countries that previously only bought raw stone in Portugal: to China it reached +157%, to Italy +114%. The extreme increases are based on the fact that the figures of the previous years were low.

But are the efforts made by companies and the Assimagra association in recent years to present the country not only as a supplier of its stones in the form of raw blocks, but also to score with know-how in terms of processing, paying off here?

The results are very different with regard to the target countries.

Above all, France, the most important market for Portuguese stone exports, saw a drop: -23.78% by value (to €67.7 million), followed by China (-19.86% to 66.4 million tons), the United Kingdom (-13.25% to €20.4 million), the United States (-11.17% to €19.2 million) and Saudi Arabia (-9.40% to €12.1 million). Actually, with the exception of China, these are the countries where mainly end-products are delivered.

There were positive returns in Germany (+1.87% to €25.8 million), the Netherlands (+10.47% to €12 million) and Belgium (+6.08% to €9.6 million).

To review, Portugal is just one of the smaller players in the global natural stone market. Its 2020 exports, with a total value of €367 million, are far behind those of Turkey with €1.43 billion or Italy with €1.503 billion. However, the Portuguese are happy to point out that, per capita the country even exceeded China’s exports of the euqivalent of €5.38 billion in 2020.

Assimagra: Exports 2020

See also:

(09.06.2021, USA: 06.09.2021)