Spain’s natural stone exports recorded a year-on-year increase of +12% in 2021

The blue bar shows the development of exports from Spain’s natural stone sector.

After years of decline, with a total value of €915 million they came close to the 2016 figure (€919 million) for the first time again

Spain’s natural stone sector has coped well with the Covid-19 pandemic, as have the other major exporting countries worldwide. In 2021, it reached +12.07% in exports compared to the previous year. The increase over 2020, the last normal year before Corona [Covid19], was +10.46%.

Moreover, Spain’s natural stone exports had been in a continuous decline since 2016, which was only stopped in 2021. In words: of all things, when the pandemic made business considerably more difficult, the Spaniards’ exports, valued at around €915 million, almost returned to 2016’s figure of €919 million.

Little has changed in the list of the main buyers of Spanish natural stone products: the order is France (€200 million), UK (€142 million), USA (€78 million) and Germany (€61 million).

The following table shows the details:

The table shows the main destination countries for Spain’s natural stone exports.

Two things should be noted:

* the drop in exports to China had been severe – since 2017 falling by two-thirds (-65.2%);
* also severe is the decline for Saudi Arabia (-8.4%, to €24.6 million) and the slump for Qatar (-26.9%, to 7.6 million);

On the positive side, the share of semi-finished and finished products in total exports increased (+25.24%, to €658 million). Significantly lower in the total increase was the growth in the export of blocks (+5.92%, to 256 million €).

The provinces in Spain with the highest shares of natural stone exports are shown in the following table. Alicante made a significant leap forward:

Ranking of Spain’s Provinces by stone exports

There was an increase of imports by +25.76% in 2021 compared to the previous year. Especially the development of raw material (blocks) was significant (+36.23%). Apparently, despite increased transportation costs, some companies have adopted the business model of buying blocks abroad, processing them (and reselling them?). Imports came mainly from Portugal, China, and India.

As for the production of domestic quarries, there was +6.25% in 2021 compared to the previous year (to €1.7 billion).

The figures were provided by Javier Fernández Cortés, Secretary General of Cluster Piedra, the service center for the stone industry of all Spain. It was founded to take care of the marketing of the local varieties and to help the companies on their way into the future through training and service.

Cluster Piedra

See also:

(12.10.2022, USA: 10.12.2022)