The current marketing initiative is about additional target countries and more value-added products
For Brazil’s natural stone exporters, the carnival will probably only take place with a subdued mood, even after Covid19. After many years of declines in 2020 and finally a strong increase and the magic mark of 1 billion US $, there was a cold shower in 2021, namely a decline of (-)4% compared to the previous year.
At least earnings did not fall below the billion mark.
The figures in detail:
* stone goods worth US$1.28 billion were sold abroad (2021: 1.34 billion).
* the classic monoculture in terms of destination countries persists, however: 58% of exports went to the USA, 13% to China and 8% to Italy. The old malaise of only selling products with good yields in the USA still applies; in the other two major target markets, only raw blocks are sold at low prices.
* nevertheless it succeeded in significantly increasing shipments to Italy by +19.65. At the same time, however, earnings from business with the USA fell by (-)10%.
The figures come from Centrorochas, which together with the state promotion organization Apex looks after the exports of the Brazilian natural stone industry.
Tales Machado, president of Centrorochas, cites several reasons for the decline in exports: “We face many challenges such as logistical complexity, high ocean freight rates, major customers with their stock full, and, of course, competition with artificial materials.“ The related press release mentions that 2022 had initially started very well, but there was a “significant retraction“ in the last quarter.
Tales Machado points out Centrorochas’ and Apex’s effort to solve the long-standing problem of double monoculture. He cites “the expansion and opening of new markets and stimulating the commercialization of products with higher added value.“
Last year, marketing meetings were held with architects in the Bahamas, among other places, and Australia, India, Mexico, Poland and the United Arab Emirates were defined as priority new target markets. The new campaign “It’s Natural – Brazilian Natural Stone“ focuses on the sustainability of stone and on the geodiversity of the country: it aims to position Brazil as THE specialist for stones with unusual colors and structures and to give the country this as recognizable brand.
However: the fact that exports to Italy have increased significantly suggests that while at the moment the Brazilians are successfully promoting their brand, other countries are making the money from it: because Italy, like China before it, only processes the stones from Brazil and then resells them.
(07.02.2023, USA: 02.07.2023)