The International Marble and Granite Fair in Vitoria, Brazil, will take place from February 22 to 25, with 360 exhibitors that are among the largest exporting companies in the Stone Sector. Given the dramatic increase of Brazilian stone exports to the U.S., the fair has become an important event for American companies -- with importers, distributors and fabricators attending the fair in increasing numbers.

Among the record 360 exhibitors are Brazilian stone producers as well as companies from Italy, Spain, China and Egypt, among other nations. To handle the increased size, some improvements have been made to the Carapina Exposition Park, including the construction of two climate-controlled pavilions -- one measuring over 35,000 square feet and another measuring nearly 10,000 square feet.

Brazilian exhibitors will be dis-playing natural stone with an eye on the export market, particularly North America. There are high expectations for solid attendance among foreign visitors, and the fair has been promoted internationally at events such as Marmomacc in Verona, Italy. Also, invitations were sent to consortiums and other company associations, embassies and international groups.

With the beginning of the event approaching, the demand for accommodations are increasing, and Brazilian and foreign travel agencies are offering travel packages to the event. The Vitoria Stone Fair is promoted by Sindirochas and Cetemag, and it is being held and organized by Milanez & Milaneze for the third year in Vitoria.

Brazilian stone exports

A trip to the Vitoria Stone Fair will give attendees the opportunity to visit some of the country's many producers of natural stone, including many in the state of Espirito Santo. Stone production in Brazil reaches 6 million tons a year, with a range of 600 commercial varieties produced in 1,500 active quarries. The granites comprise approximately 57% of the total production, with marble and travertine responsible for another 17%. Slate and quartzite are also significant exports from Brazil.

It is estimated that there are 11,100 existing companies active in the Brazilian stone industry, responsible for 114,000 jobs. Commercial transactions on the internal and external markets are responsible for more than $2 billion, including materials and machinery. Most production is in southeastern Brazil, including the states of Espirito Santo, Minas Gerais, Bahia and Rio de Janeiro.

Espírito Santo, where the Vitoria Stone Fair is being held, contains 400 quarries and exports 200 commercial varieties of ornamental stone, representing 34% of all Brazilian quarries. Espírito Santo works 57% of all gangsaws in Brazil, and its 1,250 companies occupy approximately 21,000 workers.

Editor's Note:

For more information on travel to Brazil, visit the organizer's web site at