Monthly Archives: January 2012

U.S. Stone Imports, November 2011

Granite imports steady to November 2010 levels, while marble, travertine and slate show gains.

StatWatch is a snapshot of U.S. dimensional-stone imports, offering a summary and exclusive Stone Update analysis of data from the U.S. International Trade Commission. Comparisons are made mainly on an annual level to gauge market trends. Analysis is made on import figures of the latest month available.

All figures give are for November 2011 (change from November 2010 amounts in parentheses). “Worked” stone is material that’s shorn from boulders and blocks, and then cut in standard dimensional measures (such as slabs and tiles) and polished (at least once, one side). “Value” represents the declared customs value of stone.
 
WORKED GRANITE VALUE
Total:
$88.2 million (8.3%)
Sector leader: Brazil @ $38.3 million (2.3%)

Backfill: Customs values continue to look good for granite, although much of the growth from November ’10 comes from China ($19.0 million, up 18.7%) and India ($12.6 million, up 23.9%). One big surprise: Italy, with its premium-priced granites, slips 2.3% to $11.4 million.

WORKED GRANITE VOLUME
Total: 109,257 metric tons (-0.4%)
Sector leader: Brazil @ 55,717 metric tons (-4.2%)

Backfill: It’s a nominal overall loss, with China (24,030 metric tons, up (8.1%) and India (15.147 metric tons, up 17.7%) shoring up Brazil’s dip. Italy, meanwhile, drops 31.3% from November ’10 with 6,911 metric tons; the country hasn’t broken the 10K monthly mark yet in 2011.

WORKED MARBLE VALUE
Total:
$20.0 million (26.2%)
Sector leader: Italy @ $9.7 million (15.4%)

Backfill: While the top four shippers to U.S. ports-of-entry – Italy, China, Spain and Turkey – show double-digit value growth from November ’10, Spain continues its resurgence with $2.4 million, up 65.8%. Turkey and China both show 10% gains from the previous November.

WORKED MARBLE VOLUME
Total: 16,591 metric tons (28.0%)
Sector leader: Italy @ 5,334 metric tons (20.7%)

Backfill: Yet another good month of growth from most of the big exporters; China’s 4,530 metric tons is a 33.1% boost from November ’10, while Spain continues to amaze with a 51.6% gain at 2,473 metric tons. Only Turkey takes a tumble, down 7.1% to 1,726 metric tons.

TRAVERTINE VALUE
Total:
$22.1 million (16.4%)
Sector leader: Turkey @ $15.3 million (26.4%)

Backfill: Turkey continues to outstrip 2010 totals, but the drag here is China; the $540,123 in November ’11 is 27% less than the previous year. Mexico offers a 9.1% gain at $3.9 million, while Italy’s $1.2 million is within a few thousand dollars of November ’10 totals.

TRAVERTINE VOLUME
Total: 44,844 metric tons (38.9%)
Sector leader: Turkey @ 31,808 metric tons (41.2%)

Backfill: November ’11 becomes a boom time for the top three exporters to the United States; besides Turkey, Mexico scores a 57.1% increase from the previous year at 7,241 metric tons, while Peru’s 2,878 metric tons tops November ’10 by 244.3%. China, meanwhile, drops 50.5% to 1,468 metric tons, and Italy falls 11.3% to 720 metric tons.

OTHER CALCAREOUS VALUE
Total: $8.0 million (9.1%)
Sector leader: China @ $1.4 million (73.4%)

Backfill: Yet more volatility plagues this category; France increases 41.4% from November ’10 with $931,947 and Portugal moves up 16.1% with $831,795. Italy, meanwhile, drops 24.3% to $1.2 million, and Spain plummets 31.5% with $516,122. Mexico’s $536,167 shows a 5.9% decline.

OTHER CALCAREOUS VOLUME
Total: 10,230 metric tons (-4.0%)
Sector leader: United Kingdom @ 1,591 metric tons (2,691.2%)

Backfill: The obvious joker in the deck for November ’11 is the United Kingdom; from January-October last year, the country shipped only 35 metric tons. The British stone makes up from losses from some major exporters, including France (1,366 metric tons, down 34.7%) and Portugal (840 metric tons, down 20.4%). China, meanwhile, improves 60.2% with 1,530 metric tons.

SLATE VALUE
Total: $5.0 million (2.2%)
Sector leader: China @ $1.8 million (-11.0%)

Backfill: Sector leader China and second-place India ($1.2 million, down 37.9%) post losses from November ’10, along with the United Kingdom ($160,072, down 42.2%). Canada may offer an anomaly (up (2,097.3%) with its $934,994, but it’s a welcome one; Brazil also takes a great leap up at $512,084, up 84.8%.


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