After a positive number reached out in 2021, when it hit an all-time record with exports, the Brazilian stone sector will export 1.28 billion dollars in 2022. The data was released by the Brazilian Center of Nature Stone Exporters (Centrorochas) pointing out a decrease of 4% relating to the previous year. One of the reasons was the logistical challenges. 

The cargo transportation is essential for the segment that has the United States, China and Italy as its main clients. Several actions focused at the international market are planned for this year by the entity, which, in partnership with the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil), conducts the It's Natural - Brazilian Natural Stone project, to promote Brazilian stones in the international market. 

"We are an optimistic and resilient sector, we have been looking for a market expansion and new ways to attend the traditional markets. The behavior of the sector in the first three quarters of the year of 2022 pointed to possible stability, or even growth, compared to 2021, however, expressive and negative results in the months of the last quarter led to a reduction compared to 2021. We face many challenges such as logistical complexity, high ocean freight rates, major customers with their stock full, and, of course, competition with artificial materials. The numbers from the last quarter of 2022 indicated a significant retraction in exports, and there may still be reflexes in the first two months of 2023, but we expect the market to react. We also believe that actions under development aiming at the expansion and opening of new markets and stimulating the commercialization of products with higher added value will contribute positively to reverse the scenario observed by the end of 2022", says the President of Centrorochas, Tales Machado.

Actions in the main markets

In 2022, the United States, China and Italy represented 58%, 13% and 8% of the Brazilian’s total exports, respectively. Despite having the smallest representation among the three, shipments of Brazilian natural stones to Italy grew by 19.65% compared to 2021. The second highest figure was China, which imported 162.7 million dollars worth of Brazilian products, up 5.89% year-to-date. However, the revenue from exports to the United States registered a drop of about 10%. 

According to Centrorochas, this action in the main Brazilian client possibly occurred due to the full stocks of the main distributors in the country. "Sales to the USA followed in a positive way until September. From then on, with inventories full and having to bear high freight forwarding costs, the purchases were slowed down by the distributors," explained Tales. 

Major exporting states 

Espírito Santo (81.8%), Minas Gerais (10.9%) and Ceará (3.1%), were the Brazilian states that exported the most natural stone in 2022. Occupying the first place in the ranking, Espírito Santo exported 1.05 billion dollars, a decrease of 5.9% compared to the previous year. Minas Gerais and Ceará registered increases of 5.2% and 5.4%, respectively.