Celebrating 70 years of international stone trade

September 1, 2002
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+


On June 3 of this year, M+Q Granit AG commemorated 70 years of business in the international stone industry. And over that time, the company has developed a block trading network that literally spans the entire works.

The company was established in 1932 by Hans Suter in Zurich, Switzerland, as Marmor + Quartzit GmbH. Since its foundation, the company has always specialized in the trade of marble and granite, holding initial agreements with companies in France, Norway, Rome, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany. The company's first markets were Switzerland, Italy, Germany, France and Austria.

At the beginning of the 1960s, M+Q began doing business in South Africa, where Suter became acquainted with the firm, Destag. The company was eventually sold to Destag in 1971, and the name was changed to its current full title, M+Q Granit AG. In 1981, the company established a stockyard for the sale of blocks in Carrara, and it took part in the Marmo Macchine Fair (now CarraraMarmotec) for the first time.

During the 1980s, the company expanded and gained exclusive rights to granite and marble varieties around the world. Its mother company, Destag, purchased quarries and began block production in countries such as Brazil, the U.S., India and others, as well as increasing production in South Africa.

At the end of 1996, Destag sold M+Q to the group who still owns the company today, and the company began its association with Rexgraniti, which is well-known as a distributor of stone blocks.

Within Italy, there are a total of four stockyards. The main facility is in Marina di Massa, near the port, and there are three other stockyards in Pozzallo (Sicily), Tolentino (Marche) and Caprino Veronese (Veneto).

But M+Q's presence goes beyond Italy. Over the past three years, the company has established facilities in Viga, Spain; in Poland and Northern Europe via the port of Antwerp, Belgium; in the ex-Yugoslavia in the ports of Rijeka and Serbia; and in the Czech Republic. The company has also situated themselves in the U.S. (Vermont) and in China (Xiamen). These operations only deal in block trading, and they are established in conjunction with local minority partners.

M+Q stocks 200 different materials, including granite varieties from South Africa, India, Brazil, Norway, Finland, Spain, the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Canada as well as marble from Turkey and Tunisia.

The company maintains its primary stockyard near the port in Marina di Carrara, Italy, with 20,000 cubic meters of material in stock. The total of material stored throughout Italy is 50,000 cubic meters.

M+Q sold a total of 60,000 cubic meters of stone last year, which represents a major increase over five years ago, when annual sales were 12,000 cubic meters. M+Q Branch Manager Claudio Cupisti explained that sales grew steadily as world market demand for stone rose, and even with the current financial uncertainty on the international front, sales are expected to remain at 60,000 cubic meters this year.

As a block trader, Cupisti pointed out that the company faces unique challenges from countries who quarry and fabricate natural stone, particularly granite-producing nations such as India, China and Brazil. "I am by nature an optimist, and I believe that there will always be an economic cycle," Cupisti said. "But Italy is a processing country; not truly a granite quarrier other than white and Sardinian granites."

Looking at the world situation, Cupisti points to the U.S. as a primary target for tile and slab exports. With this in mind, the company sells blocks to a number of different large-scale fabricators who specialize in exporting finished products to the American marketplace.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Stone World 

Recent Articles by Michael Reis

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

November 2013 Stone Products Gallery

Take a look at some of the latest stone industry products.

THE MAGAZINE

Stone World Magazine

April 2014 stone world cover

2014 April

In this month's issue of Stone World, check out an extensive preview of Coverings 2014, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in April. Also learn more about various types of limestone that were used to build private residences.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine

CSTD_Spring2014_Cover.jpg

2014 Spring

This issue of Contemporary Stone & Tile Design includes our annual focus on Kitchen and Bath design

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Training Program

How formal is your training program for new employees?
View Results Poll Archive

The Stone World Store

How_To_Polish_&_Restore_Mar.gif
How to Polish & Restore Marble Flooring

This video will show you step-by-step how to resurface and polish marble flooring from grinding and removing lippage and scratches to achieving a highly reflective polish.

More Products

Italian Trade Commission Coverings exhibitor preview

Italian Trade Commission logo 2

The Italian Trade Commission is presenting a large group of the most innovative and internationally renowned Italian suppliers of dimensional natural stones. We hope your busy schedule will allow you to join us for a “genuine” espresso in booth N. 4045 and explore the exciting Italian natural stone resources offered by our exhibitors. Check out Italian stone producers exhibiting at Coverings 2014 here!

  

Stone Industry Education

stone industry educationStone Industry Education is sponsored by Stone World Magazine and Marble Institute of America. The SIE events will help you: strengthen your skills, build your business, and  increase profit in your shop.  Check out stoneindustryeducation.com to register for upcoming fabricator and installer seminars.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook logo Twitter  YouTube