World Stone Market: $23 Billion in 2014
VERONA, Italy – World stone trade continued its rise last year from the depths of the 2009 recession, according to the latest review of international quarrying and production.
The XXVI World Stone Report noted a 3.85% increase in total activity, thanks to total output of materials equivalent to 80 million tons (net of quarry waste) and 1.5 billion m² (16.15 billion ft²) of equivalent 2cm-thick products.
Global stone trading revenues in 2014 totlaed 23 billion dollars, of which 75% were generated by processed products.
The latest edition of the report, edited by longtime stone analyst Carlo Montani, premiered on Oct. 1 at the Marmomacc stone trade event here.
The leading exporters are, in order, China, Italy, Turkey and India, followed by Brazil, Spain and Portugal, noted the report. The main final uses of marble and granite are still flooring and interior decor.
The United States led the world in importing finished products, with other major stone importers including Canada, Germany, France, Belgium, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. China led all countries in importing raw materials, followed by Taiwan.
“Despite the significant explosion of the stone industry in countries such as Jordan, Oman, Mongolia and Vietnam,” Montani explained, “in the future production will be increasingly concentrated in a handful of countries that already today – headed by China, followed by India, Turkey, Brazil, Italy and Spain – together account for more than 70% of total volumes.”
In the last two decades, the flow of world exports has almost quadrupled. Global export volumes last year came to 56.9 million tons (up 6.7% from 2013), with 29.5 million tons in raw materials (+5%) and 27.4 million tons in processed goods (+8.7%).
The quantity of processed products on the market has increased by more than 300% since 1994. Per-capita consumption of marble on a worldwide scale comes to 237 m² (2,551 ft²) per thousand inhabitants; only Switzerland, Belgium, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan can boast a ratio of 1m² per person.
The World Stone Report has, for 26 years, been an authentic reference landmark for all professionals in the sector: This year set an historic record with 110 countries monitored, as well as more than 24 thousand economic and statistical entries, based on Eurostat, ComTrade and Abi Rochas sources.
Iran Strengthens Stone Industry
VERONA, Italy – Iran’s a major player in the international stone market and plans to ramp up its production capabilities, according to an Iranian official visiting the Marmomacc stone trade event.
“Iran is a stable and reliable player in the Middle East and a strong economy in the region,” said Jafar Sargheini, deputy minister of economy, trade and mining activities. “The government has arranged significant benefits for companies making investments in terms of tax and profits concessions, as well as employment, through a policy of maximum cooperation and excellent advantages for investors, even as regards energy costs.”
Already among the top five stone producing countries worldwide, Iran plans to invest $200 million in technology to modernize 5,000 processing centers in the country, more than 500 active quarries and 87,000 employees in the quarrying and processing industry.
“We are very interested in developing, through Veronafiere-Marmomacc, synergies and cooperation in the natural-stone field, just as we consider Italian technology in the sector as the best in the world,” Sargheini added.
Sargheini led an Iranian trade delegation to this year’s Marmomacc.
Event producers Veronafiere envision stronger ties with Iran in encouraging trade in several industrial sectors.
“We are working to define cooperation with the Iranian Government as soon as possible in natural stone, construction and agricultural sectors,” said Giovanni Mantovani, Veronafiere CEO/director general. “As regards to Marmomacc, we envisage that the Stone Academy will become active in Iran and that Verona next year will welcome an even more numerous trade and exhibitor delegation under the aegis of the Government.
“Iran has 300 million inhabitants and is enjoying significant expansion. Italy has maintained important dialogue with Iran in every historical period and today this means we are seen as a qualified and reliable partner.”