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Over the past few years, U.S. importers and fabricators have dramatically increased their purchasing of stone from Brazil. In fact, this trend has been so significant that Brazil’s 2006 granite export value to the U.S. reached more than $538 million - nearly 75% greater than the second largest granite exporter, Italy. And despite somewhat of an industry slowdown, Brazil’s export totals to the U.S. in 2007 look like they will come close to the previous year’s figures - thus underscoring the importance of Brazilian suppliers to the U.S. market.
With this in mind, it is no surprise that the Vitória Stone Fair, which takes place in Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil, has become a major international event. The 2008 edition of the fair will be held from February 19 to 22, 2008, and it is a showcase of Brazil’s plentiful stone resources, as leading producers from the Espírito Santo State and around the country are on hand.
A record 35,797 visitors attended the 2007 Vitória Stone Fair, including 2,355 foreign visitors. The attendees coming from overseas included many from the U.S., as importer/distributors and large-scale fabricators were on hand to source Brazilian stone material - primarily for kitchen countertops and other slab applications.
The exhibition is held in an area of over 375,000 square feet (35,000 sq.m), and the facilities have been upgraded with air conditioning and improved infrastructure.
According to Milanez & Milaneze, the show organizer, close to 400 exhibitors will be on hand at the Vitória Stone Fair, and over 300 commercial varieties of stone will be on display. Included will be exotic one-of-a-kind materials as well as the traditional stones of Brazil.
Many Brazilian stone producers use the Vitória Stone Fair to launch new materials to the marketplace, including varieties of marble, granite, slate, quartzite and other stones. In addition to stone materials, the event includes a range of stoneworking machinery, particularly for large-scale stone plants, as well as tooling, accessories, adhesives, maintenance products and resins.
EspÃrito Santo StateThe fair’s location within Espírito Santo is advantageous, as it is the main producer and the major processor and exporter of ornamental stones in Brazil. It is responsible for 47% of the production and 44% of the exports, and it comprises more than 50% of the Brazilian sector industry - in number of gangsaws and companies - as well as in terms of growth. The sector estimates an average growth of 30% in exports within the next five years. This new phase is based on an efficient network of highways and railways and on the Vitória port complex, that turned Espírito Santo into the major Brazilian center for blocks and slabs.
In addition to conducting business at the Vitória Stone Fair itself, many attendees visit with the stoneworking companies, warehouses and ports in the region and throughout the Espírito Santo State. Important international and Brazilian firms are operating in Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, in the metropolitan area of Vitória and in the North of the State.
Besides the Vitória Stone Fair, Milanez & Milaneze conducts the Cachoeiro Stone Fair every August, also in the Espírito Santo State. For more information on both events, or assistance with travel, visit: www.feiradomarmore.com.br.