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Italy’s natural stone sector thrives with exports worth €574.5 million

The Italian natural stone sector saw increased exports of marble and granite products to Europe (+6.6), United States (+3.9), Middle East (+3.2%) and North Africa (+19.7%). Asia, however, posted a setback (-3%). Imports of raw materials from India (+21.1%), Brazil (+7.7%), Zimbabwe (+26.5%) and South Africa (+14.6%) were also up.

The Italian marble sector continues to win abroad. With exports worth €574.5 million of processed and unhewn products, the Italian natural stone sector closed the first quarter of the year with +5.3% in value compared to the same period in 2013. The total imports of marble and granite also grew by 6.7% worth €127 million. These figures based on the Istat data that emerged after analysis by the Marmomacc Observatory, the most important international trade fair of the sector – the 49th edition is scheduled to be held in Verona during 24-27 September 2014.

Finished and semi-finished products

Going into more detail, exports of processed materials are still the spearhead of natural stone “Made in Italy” with €449.5 million (+3.2%) between January and April.

As regards outlet markets, growth in Europe picked up (€191.4 million; +6.6) led by Germany, which imported Italian marble worth €42.2 million (+2.8%) and the United Kingdom with €20.8 million (+45.1%).

Moving eastwards, countries in Eastern Europe posted trade worth €46 million (+10.3), despite the slight decrease in direct exports to Russia (-4%). The internal crisis is not stopping Ukraine. Against all odds, it imported stone products from Italy worth €4.5 million, against 2.4 million in the first four months of 2013.

Good results were also achieved overseas in the United States, worth €105.3 million (+3.9%), while Asia saw a downturn (-3%) due to lower imports by India and China.

In the Middle East, Italian companies in the field continue to enjoy good business, especially in the UAE and Qatar, with orders worth €65.3 million (+3.2%). There are also good prospects even in the Mediterranean area, where exports in the four-month period came to €18.2 million (+19.7%), thanks to orders from Libya and Morocco.

On the other hand, negative trends for Italian imports of finished and semi-finished products continue, settling at €30.5 million (-10.3%).

Unhewn Products

As regards blocks of dimension and ornamental stone, the first quarter of 2014 saw an increase of more than 13% in exports (€125 million in total) as well as imports (84.9 millions) into Italy.

Target countries for exports see China in the lead with €33.6 million (+10.5%) and India with 22.4 million (+5.6%).

Imports of raw materials also increased. In four months, India supplied Italy with unhewn stones worth €13.8 million (+21.1%), while Brazil posted sales of €20 million (+7.7%). Quarries in Zimbabwe supplied Italy with materials worth €4.8 million (+26.5%), while South Africa totaled just over €7 million (+14.6%).

Marmomacc: International markets and product culture to develop the Italian natural stone system

Marmomacc is Veronafiere’s event with the highest rate of internationalisation and the global meeting point for all operators in the natural stone industry across the entire supply chain – from raw block to processed products, technologies and training of architects through to the latest applications in the design field.

The 49th edition (Verona, 24-27 September 2014) takes place for the first time in conjunction with Abitare Il Tempo, an innovative exhibition format complementing Marmomacc’s own offering, thanks to new business opportunities in fields such as contract, interior design and furnishings.

Marmomacc 2013 – Facts and Figures

• Exhibitors: 1,425, out of which 59% from 55 foreign countries

• International groups: 16

• Visitors: 56,992 (+8.8% over 2012) – 54% international from 143 countries

• Foreign trade missions: 44

• Show area: 73,889 sq. m. net

Marmomacc nel Mondo – International Network

Marmomacc’s activities in consolidated and emerging building markets are enhanced by a calendar of international events embracing Brazil, the United States, the Middle East and Africa.

The year 2014 has already seen TISE StoneExpo/Marmomacc Americas (Las Vegas, 28-30 January), Vitória Stone Fair/Marmomacc Latin America (Vitória, 18-21 February) and Qatar Stone Tech (Doha, 12-15 May). Appointments are also scheduled at the Cachoeiro Stone Fair (Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, 26-29 August), TISE EAST StoneExpo/Marmomacc Americas (Miami, 20-22 October), Saudi Stone Tech (Riyadh, 10-13 November) and the debut of MS Africa and Middle East – the Marmomacc and Samoter Event (Cairo, 11-14 December) – the new taking the world of natural stone and construction equipment to Egypt under the brand of Marmomacc and Samoter.

Veronafiere also continues its experience in Morocco with Médinit Expo (Casablanca, 28-31 October), a showcase for Italian companies active in the construction industry.

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