ESPÍRITO SANTO, BRAZIL -- The Brazilian Center of Natural Stones Exporters (Centrorochas) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil) will take 12 natural stone companies to Mexico on a trade mission that will take place on August 9 and 10, 2023. The trip is organized through It's Natural - Brazilian Natural Stone, a program to promote exports of Brazilian natural stone. The initiative includes business rounds with local buyers and a seminar at the Brazilian embassy in Mexico.

Mexico is among the 15 largest economies in the world and is the second largest economy in Latin America, behind Brazil. With 126 million inhabitants (2021 census), it has recorded good economic performance. According to the IMF, Mexico's GDP grew by around 2.1% in 2022, mainly due to a gradual improvement in the labor market, which reduced the unemployment rate to 3.3% of the population and positively impacted household consumption. For 2023, the updated growth expectation according to Goldman Sachs stands at 1.8% of GDP at 2.1%.

When it comes to natural stone, exports have been increasing in importance every year. Mexico is currently the fourth main destination for Brazilian exports. In 2022, the country imported US$ 53 million from Brazil, registering a 4% growth over the previous year. In the first half of this year, while Brazilian exports of natural stone to the world decreased 13.4%, there was an 8.13% growth to Mexico, totaling US$ 26.9 million in revenue and a 4.9% share in the total of stone exported by Brazil. Granite is the material most consumed by Mexicans. It represents 77% of the total volume, followed by quartzites, which have 20% participation in the mix imported by the country. 

Companies from Ceará, Espírito Santo and Rio Grande do Sul will participate in the action. They include: Angramar, Basalto São Cristóvão, Brumagran, Cajugram, Comil Cotaxé, Decolores, Granos, Magban, Marbrasa, Mineração Borchardt, Minete Pedras and Nova Aurora.

For the manager of Brazilian Natural Stone, Rogério Ribeiro, the mission is a good option to promote Brazilian stone in Mexico, one of the target countries of It's Natural. "Expectations in this context are very positive, since exports to Mexico have been growing in recent years, which proves the assertiveness of the sectorial project, especially after a market study carried out last year,” he said.

Mexico was the subject of a market study conducted by Centrorochas and ApexBrasil. During the presentation event, held in October last year, the economist responsible for the study, Marcelo Prado, managing partner of IEMI Market Intelligence, commented on the country's openness to Brazilian stone. "The good receptivity and diversity of Brazilian stones guarantee a competitive advantage among competitors. With a strong reduction in local production, more than ever, Mexico needs imports to meet these demands. And this is an excellent opportunity for Brazilian stone exporters," he said.