It will be particularly interesting to follow the presentation conference for the Stone Sector with a discussion of the statistics. These confirm that, again in 2013, China was the leading country in terms of market share in the natural stone industry, accounting for 34.3% of the total value of world exports. Italy's market share, however, decreased by 12 basis points compared to 2012 (down to 13.61% in 2013). Competition from Turkey and China, the former for marble (especially blocks and slabs), the latter for finished granite products, particularly affected this result.
The report gives the main trends in the international trade of stone materials, with details of export values, the direction of trade flows and the markets with strong growth and high growth potential. Again in 2013, the value of the international trade of stone materials recorded an increase of 4.3% compared to 2012 for a total turnover of more than 22.3 billion Euros. This is due to a strong increase in the average unit value of stone products, traded less and less as raw materials, which went from 197 Euros per ton in 2011 to 264 Euros per ton in 2013.
A survey by the ICE and Ernest & Young on the construction market in India will also be presented during the meeting. India is the fourth country in terms of market share in the world stone industry after China, Italy and Turkey. Its export value stands at 1.3 billion Euros, showing an increase of 3.4% compared to 2012. India’s natural stone imports in 2013 reached more than 308 million Euros, and Italy is the leading supplier with a market share of almost 35%. The study on the construction market in this country is therefore particularly interesting to highlight the new opportunities for Italian companies in the field of natural stone.
Turkey confirms its position as the most important country after China. Today, it is the first country, both in terms of the values ??and quantities of marble exported, with a market share of 43% for blocks and 20% for finished products. Its leading position is based on its competitiveness, in terms of prices that are decidedly lower than Italy's. The average unit value of exports of Turkish finished products of the highest quality (in marble, travertine and alabaster) is 372 Euros per ton, while in Italy the average unit value for finished products is above 1,000 Euros per ton. The price of Italian finished products is determined by Italian labor costs, but also due to the special attention paid to quality and a combination of cutting-edge technologies and excellent skilled artisanship recognized and appreciated throughout the world. Hence, there was an increase in exports of Italian finished marble products of 4.4% and 10.6% in value. In 2013, Italy exported 924,425 tons of finished marble products for a total value of 901.6 million Euros, returning to the values ??of the early 2000's. Moreover, the stone industry generated a trade balance of over 1.5 billion Euros. This is even more significant if compared with the general stagnation of Italian exports in 2013 (-0.1% compared to 2012).
Following the introduction by Fabio Felici, IMM Chairman, Gussoni will be presenting Stone Sector 2014, outlining the prospects and opportunities in the stone industry with reference to the data in the report. The market survey on the construction industry in India will then be presented with comments on the results by Alessia Bianchi, Deputy Director of the ICE office in New Delhi. At the end of the debate, Ines Aronadio, Director of the Consumer Goods Office of the ICE (the agency for the promotion abroad and internationalization of Italian firms)will draw the conclusions.