Tag Archives: Italy

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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U.S. Stone Imports, August 2011

Marble, travertine and other calcareous stone remain strong through the summer. Granite, however, is lagging.

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 August 2011 (change from August 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: $96.1 million (-3.7%)
Sector leader: Brazil @ $40.7 million (-7.0%)

Backfill: The heady growth of early summer in granite imports is fizzling out; besides Brazil’s slowdown in customs values, China’s $19.8 million is a 7.8% decline from August 2010. India manages to step up by 9.9% to $16.3 million, while Italy’s loss is marginal (-0.9%) at  $11.9 million.

WORKED GRANITE VOLUME
Total: 115,729 metric tons (-36.0%)
Sector leader: Brazil @ 47,627 metric tons (-51.7%)

Backfill: Tonnage totals fall for most countries during a month that often shows large gains in a year. China’s 28,437 metric tons is 35.8% less than the previous August; Italy shows a 20.9% drop with 8,094 metric tons. Only India gains among granite’s Big Four, with 21,289 metric tons representing a 13.8% rise..

WORKED MARBLE VALUE
Total: $23.8 million (18.3%)
Sector leader: Italy @ $11.3 million (26.4%)

Backfill: It’s a happy time for marble with double-digit growth in customs values, fueled mainly by Italy and an on-the-rebound Turkey with $2.5 million, up 80.7% from August 2010. China ($4.5 million, up 7.2%) and Spain ($2.3 million, up 10.0%) also pitch in to boost the market.

WORKED MARBLE VOLUME
Total: 20,408 metric tons (17.3%)
Sector leader: China @ 6,558 metric tons (20.3%)

Backfill: The double figures aren’t dipping in marble tonnage, either. China moves back into first place, but Italy trails closely with 6,013 metric tons, up 21.1% from the previous August. Turkey makes a strong recovery at 2,611 metric tons (up 40.4%); Spain gains some ground at 2,484 metric tons (up 2.8%).

TRAVERTINE VALUE
Total: $26.0 million (16.5%)
Sector leader: Turkey @ $17.1 million (18.9%)

Backfill: Everybody pitches in to improve from August 2010, from Turkey to Mexico ($4.6 million. up 12.5%) to Italy ($1.4 million, up 22.6%) to China ($1.3 million, up 10.2%). While Peru didn’t make the million-dollar club, the $882K in value beats the previous August by 14.3%.

TRAVERTINE VOLUME
Total: 52,082 metric tons (38.2%)
Sector leader: Turkey @ 38,382 metric tons (36.9%)

Backfill: Close your eyes and it’s 2005 again, with a growth curve headed for Mars, with Italy showing a 54.8% gain from August 2010 at 1,286 metric tons and Peru scoring a 18.3% gain at 885 metric tons. Mexico, however, takes a 8.3% step down at 5,240 metric tons. And, like Canada last month, China gets a mysterious inflation of shipments – from 1,679 metric tons this July to 5,706 metric tons a month later.

OTHER CALCAREOUS VALUE
Total: $8.6 million (1.9%)
Sector leader: China @ $1.3 million (38.6%)

Backfill: It’s another round of musical chairs for this sector, with China taking the lead again with Italy a close second at $1.2 million (down 4.0% from August 2010). All the other countries dip below the seven-figure mark; last month’s front-runner, Portugal slips to $991K (down 1.6% from the previous August). Meanwhile, it’s double-digit annual growth for France ($891K, 14.2%) and Spain ($855K, up 21.6%).

OTHER CALCAREOUS VOLUME
Total: 8,433 metric tons (10.0%)
Sector leader: China @ 1,457 metric tons (60.3%)

Backfill: The rollercoaster brings Canada to the fore with 1,009 metric tons, up 149.1% from August 2010, while Portugal drops to 802 metric tons (down 16.7%). Pakistan, with 1,065 metric tons shipped this July, sends just 45 metric tons in the next month; and Mexico, with two 9,000+ metric-ton months earlier this year, accounts for only 485 metric tons in August.

SLATE VALUE
Total: $5.3 million (-11.7%)
Sector leader: China @ $2.5 million (-3.1%)

Backfill: Slate’s up-and-down year hits the down button, with India’s $1.9 million adding up to a 20.4% decline from the previous August. The United Kingdom also hits the skids this year, going from a high of $352K in March to only $26K this August. Brazil provides welcome contrary relief with a 5.9% gain from August 2010 with its $560K.

OTHER STONE VALUE
Total: $16.8 million (-26.1%)
Sector leader: India @ $5.1 million (-26.5%)

Backfill: Beating August 2010 comes easily for China ($2.9 million, up 49.2%) and Italy ($1.8 million, up 37.8%), but they can’t offset losses from sector leader India and Brazil ($3.3 million, down 58.2%). Canada’s positive position from this July turns round in the following month, with its $1.4 million falling 18.7% behind the previous August.

OTHER STONE VOLUME
Total: 19,071 metric tons (-35.0%)
Sector leader: India @ 6,096 metric tons (-28.6%)

Backfill: China offers the only shard of good news in August, with its 3,680 metric tons beating the previous year by 21.9%. Otherwise, the performances range from dismal (Canada, 1,946 metric tons, down 11.4%) to painful (Brazil, 3,774 metric tons, down 64.9%).


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StatWatch: U.S. Stone Imports, July 2011

Travertine and other calcareous stone post import numbers that clearly beat last July. Unfortunately, it’s a different situation with granite.

StatWatch is a snapshot of U.S. dimensional-stone imports, offering a summary and exclusive Stone Business 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 July 2011 (change from July 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: $99.3 million (-0.4%)
Sector leader: Brazil @ $42.9 million (-3.1%)

Backfill: July and August form the peak of annual granite imports; after a five-month trend of value increases in 2011, the slowdown this July isn’t exactly good news. Of granite’s Big Four, India saves the month with $18.1 million, up 38.7% from last July. Both China ($20.8 million, down 7.1%) and Italy ($10.4 million, down 17.1%) take a tumble.

WORKED GRANITE VOLUME
Total:
125,442 metric tons (-9.2%)
Sector leader: Brazil @ 51,118 metric tons (-19.7%)

Backfill: China and India provide the support for actual granite slab/tile imports. China’s 34,329 metric tons represents a 10.9% lift from last July, and India ramps up 15.4% to 23.023 metric tons. A decade ago, Italy dominated this sector; July’s 8,491 metric tons lags behind last year by 44.1%.

WORKED MARBLE VALUE
Total:
$21.5 million (7.5%)
Sector leader: Italy @ $10.4 million (25.4%)

Backfill: Marble import values hold on for July, with Italy posting a major boost. China wavers from a year ago ($3.7 million, down 6.3%), but easily keeps second. A surprising Spain surges to third ($2.4 million, up 15.5%) past a sliding Turkey ($2.2 million, down 13%).

WORKED MARBLE VOLUME
Total:
16,501 metric tons (-4.8%)
Sector leader: Italy @ 5,397 metric tons (1.3%)

Backfill: There’s something about July and marble imports; it’s the month that Italy leads the sector and China drops to second. This year, China does it again with 4,461 metric tons (down 3.3%). Coupled with Turkey’s fall-off (2,096 metric tons, down 10.7%), the two countries essentially account for the sector’s decline from last July.

TRAVERTINE VALUE
Total: $25.8 million (10.3%)
Sector leader: Turkey @ $16.7 million (8.8%)

Backfill: Happy times all around here, as the four members of the million-dollar club for import values – Turkey, Mexico, China and Italy – show increases from July 2010. China also breaks out of a 2011 funk with $1.4 million in July, its first million-dollar month since January. Peru posts a respectable $866K, although that’s a $130K drop from the previous month and 18.3% less than last July.

TRAVERTINE VOLUME
Total: 52,499 metric tons (34.3%)
Sector leader: Turkey @ 35,134 metric tons (25.3%)

Backfill: It’s the best month in more than a year, although the gains from last July come from lopsided shipments. Of the regular leaders, only Turkey and Mexico (8,435 metric tons, up 36.4%) are ahead of the same time in 2010; volume is down drastically from China (-20.6%), Peru (-25.2%) and Italy (-23.0%). The wild card is Canada, with its 5,010 metric tons toting up a 1,485.4% increase from last July. (FYI: Canada’s June 2011 across-the-border shipments of travertine came to an exciting 12 – yes, twelve – metric tons.)

OTHER CALCAREOUS VALUE
Total: $8.1 million (2.3%)
Sector leader: Portugal @ $1.4 million (96.9%)

Backfill: The sector remains volatile; Portugal moves from fourth to first, while Italy, last July’s leader, slips to fifth at $780K (down 36.2%). China keeps second with $1.2 million (up 7.5%), with Spain retaining third at $889K (up 2.2%). France moves up into fourth at $809K with a dramatic 100.2% increase.

OTHER CALCAREOUS VOLUME
Total:
9,946 metric tons (2,8%)
Sector leader: Mexico @ 1,897 metric tons (105.7%)

Backfill: Mexico’s massive shipments to the United States are tapering off, but other countries pick up the slack in July; China’s 1,402 metric tons is 30.7% better than the same time last year, and Portugal makes a 76.1% jump with 1,240 metric tons. The wild card is Pakistan, going from a tally of exactly one metric ton passing through U.S. ports-of-entry this April to July’s 1,065 metric tons (and a 1,110.2% rocket ride from July 2010).

SLATE VALUE
Total:
$5.7 million (5.1%)
Sector leader: China @ $2.7 million (-7.3%)

Backfill: Increases in import values from other countries offset China’s down month; second-place India posts $1.8 million in July, up 12.4% from the same time last year. Brazil, still a distant third, still pushes ahead of July 2010 by 14.0% at $531K. Spain provides a surprise with $186K, a 435.5% leap from last July.

OTHER STONE VALUE
Total:
$17.5 million (-30.5%)
Sector leader: India @ $5.3 million (-28.6%)

Backfill: Canada continues as this year’s bright spot for this catchall category of stone imports – but when a 1.9% annual increase (at $2.2 million) to retain fourth place among exporters to the U.S. is the sole good news, it’s not exactly uplifting. Second-place Brazil sees the nose dropping a bit more ($4.4 million, down 49.1%) and China slides 12.1% to $2.3 million. Italy turns course again this year, with July’s $1.1 million translating to a 37.3% decline.

OTHER STONE VOLUME
Total: 19,979 metric tons (-37.0%)
Sector leader: India @ 5,973 metric tons (-29.7%)

Backfill: A brutal month when compared to 2010. Of the top nine countries in the category, only South Africa (at 470 metric tons) shows an increase from a year ago – and that’s because it didn’t ship a single ounce of the stuff in July 2010. Brazil takes a giant step (58.5%) down from last July at 4,983 metric tons. It may be damning with faint praise, but here’s a positive: this July represents the second best month of 2011 for the category.

Emerson Schwartzkopf


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SB’s The Week: Aug. 22-28, 2011

The Week is a collection of postings, tweets and links offered online through the website, Facebook fan page and Twitter feed of Stone Business.

FEATURES

Italian stone exports: Shipments through May are ahead of last year’s pace, although increases to the U.S. appear to be nominal.

Marmomacc Architectural Awards: The biennial competition selects some of the most-interesting work worldwide before next month’s massive stone trade event in Verona, Italy.

NEWS

BSI Stone Education: Architects and designers in the Salt Lake City area can enjoy a quarry tour, accredited education and a good BBQ lunch on Sept. 16 in Heber City, Utah.

After the earthquake: Already forgotten the week’s first natural event in Washington? Crews raced to make some quick patches to the Washington Monument using a familiar method to fabricators.

Also, here’s a quick video of the damage, courtesy of CNN,


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StatWatch: U.S. Stone Imports, June 2011

By Emerson Schwartzkopf

StatWatch is a snapshot of U.S. dimensional-stone imports, offering a summary and exclusive Stone Business 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.

120_em_hedAll figures give are for June 2011 (change from June 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: $102.1 million (10.5%)
Sector leader: Brazil @ $47.4 million (15.6%)

Backfill: As far as values declared at customs, granite surges ahead of last year, with India making the biggest advance from June ’10 with $13.8 million (up 16.5%). That barely holds off Italy at $13 million even (up 7.4%). China gets the second spot at $21.4 million, but barely 0.4% ahead of the same time last year.

WORKED GRANITE VOLUME
Total:
116,578 metric tons (-32.3%)
Sector leader: Brazil @ 55,922 metric tons (-41.7%)

Backfill: May 2011’s boom turns into June’s bust, as shipments drop sharply from Brazil and China (26,260 metric tons, -40.9% from last June). India manages to improve from last year with 17,416 metric tons (up 11.9%).

WORKED MARBLE VALUE
Total: $19.1 million (2.9%)
Sector leader: Italy @ $8.2 million (17.1%)

Backfill: Values also remain strong with marble; China boosts its share to $4.2 million, up 12.6% from June 2010. Turkey and Spain round out the million-dollar club ($2.2 million and $2.0 million, respectively); it’s a 7.8% solution, as Turkey drops and Spain rises by the same measure from last year’s levels.

WORKED MARBLE VOLUME
Total:
17,120 metric tons (3.0%)
Sector leader: China @ 5,059 metric tons (-5.9%)

Backfill: The category makes a small gain, and China keeps its top tonnage mark for the third straight month – even as it sends less marble to U.S. docks than last June. Italy follows closely in second at 4,888 metric tons (up 22.5% from June 2010), and Spain gets stronger at 2,589 metric tons (up 12.8%).

TRAVERTINE VALUE
Total: $24.6 million (2.5%)
Sector leader: Turkey @ $16.5 million (5.8%)

Backfill: Travertine continues its slow-and-sure climb, fueled by Turkey’s steady push in the market. Mexico’s $4.6 million (up 6.6% from June 2010) also offers a helping hand. It’s a different story with Italy; the $1.1 million from this June is a 26.3% drop from the year before.

TRAVERTINE VOLUME
Total: 41,109 metric tons (-31.4%)
Sector leader: Turkey @ 32,539 metric tons (-28.8%)

Backfill: June is a month where the numbers offer a biased picture; nearly all major travertine-exporting counties had unusually high June 2010 totals that make this June’s shipments look plain bad. Looking only at 2011 numbers, this June offers the second-best month of the year for most, and the best for Peru at 1,027 metric tons. The only drag this year is China; it showed a high in February at 1,662 metric tons, but dropped all the way to 963 metric tons in June.

OTHER CALCAREOUS VALUE
Total: $7.4 million (-3.5%)
Sector leader: China @ $1.2 million (23.3%)

Backfill: With Lebanon’s wild output finally out of the picture, things return to something close to normal; China’s good gains from June 2010 are offset by Italy ($1 million, down 10.9%) and Portugal ($853,022, down 6.8%). Other major exporters to the United States moved up or down by less than 4%, except for France’s bounceback ($580,513, up 100.1%).

OTHER CALCAREOUS VOLUME
Total: 9,899 metric tons (5.2%)
Sector leader: Mexico @ 2,666 metric tons (542.4%)

Backfill: Removing Lebanon’s sky-high tonnage from the mix – it dropped out of the market in May 2010 – gives this category something it hasn’t seen in a year: a gain. Unfortunately, it’s due to abnormally huge shipments from Mexico; other major countries show a loss from last June, save China (1,456 metric tons, up 44.3%).

SLATE VALUE
Total: $4.8 million (3.2%)
Sector leader: China @ $2.1 million (8.9%)

Backfill: It’s all good news here; second-place India also shows an increase of 3.7% from last year with its $1.9 million. Brazil lags far behind at $397,993 in third, but the total shows a 20.1% gain from June 2010.

OTHER STONE VALUE
Total: $17.3 million (-23.3%)
Sector leader: India @ $5.4 million (-22.8%)

Backfill: The struggle continues for this catchall of stone imports, although June’s totals represent the best performance since last September.  Second place Brazil continues a long, deep slide from last year ($4.2 million, down 39%) and China wobbles ($2 million, down 14.9%). Canada steps up slightly ($2 million, up 3.5%) and Italy gets a small 3.4% gain at $1.5 million.

OTHER STONE VOLUME
Total: 20,151 metric tons (-31.6%)
Sector leader: India @ 6,447 metric tons (-23.5%)

Backfill: As with May 2011, no country shipping more than a thousand metric tons in this category offers any growth from the previous year. China gives the best of the worst at 3,061 metric tons, down 13.5%. Brazil’s 5,237 metric tons is a 43% drop from June 2010; Canada makes a 4.17% slip with 2,041 metric tons.


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StatWatch: U.S. Stone Imports, May 2011

Stone charges ahead, fueled by big increases in granite value and volume and good performances from the marble sector. Other stone categories offer mixed results.

StatWatch is a snapshot of U.S. dimensional-stone imports, offering a summary and exclusive Stone Business 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 May 2011 (change from May 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:
$98.6 million (18.3.1%)
Sector leader: Brazil @ $45.1 million (26.1%)

Backfill: All of a sudden, 2011 looks great for dimensional-stone’s biggest market portion, with May offering the biggest month since the $99.7 million total from last August. Along with Brazil, India primes the pump with $16.9 million, up 45.0 percent from May 2010. China and Italy hew closer to last May’s performances, with small increases of 1.1% and 1.4%, respectively.

WORKED GRANITE VOLUME
Total:
226,343 metric tons (48.3%)
Sector leader: India @ 97,489 metric tons (97.0%)

Backfill: It’s bada-BING as the actual tonnage of granite slabs and tiles for May increases by almost half from a year ago. India’s near-doubling of shipments from May 2010 is likely a one-month-wonder, but the rest of granite’s Big Four also show plenty of strength. Brazil’s 57,349 metric tons offer an 18.4 increase from May 2011; China, meanwhile, rolls 27%-more granite onto U.S. docks with 51,422 metric tons. Italy also ups last year’s totals, with 8,573 metric tons representing a 24.7% increase.

WORKED MARBLE VALUE
Total:
$18.3 million (8.5%)
Sector leader: Italy @ $8.7 million (36.9%)

Backfill: The good-news parade continues into the marble sector, although Italy’s big increases are offset somewhat by China’s 13.2% decline and Turkey’s 24.8% drop from May 2010. Spain’s $1.8 million this May offers a 6.2% increase; a small-but-mighty boost, however, is Greece’s $674,521, a 109.5% jump from the same time last year.

WORKED MARBLE VOLUME
Total:
15,622 metric tons (5.5%)
Sector leader: China @ 5,307 metric tons (-4.0%)

Backfill: China keeps the top spot for a second consecutive month; while it records a slight drop from last year, marble tonnage to the United States this May shows a 48% from April 2011. Italy’s 30% increase from last May yields 4,350 metric tons, and Spain gets a 3.8%  raise with its 1,954 metric tons.

TRAVERTINE VALUE
Total: $23.1 million (6.2%)
Sector leader: Turkey @ $15.1 million (6.5%)

Backfill: Travertine – at least in customs value – lets the good times roll for stone imports this month, led by perennial leader Turkey. Mexico also lends a big hand here, with $4.6 million passing last year’s amount by 7.1 percent. China also steps up with a 10.1% increase to $876,834, while Italy’s $898,834 offers nominal 1.5% growth. Peru takes a tumble of 34.7% from last year, finishing this May at $720,567.

TRAVERTINE VOLUME
Total:
37,717 metric tons (-1.7%)
Sector leader: Turkey @ 29,048 metric tons (6.1%)

Backfill: Even a good gain by sector leader Turkey doesn’t put travertine’s overall tonnage in positive territory. Mexico boomerangs from its May value increase by posting a volume loss of 27.6% at 5,272 metric tons; other major declines include Peru (684 metric tons, -36.7%) and Italy (630 metric tons, -55.6%). At least China offers a 17.4% gain from last year 885 metric tons … but that’s also down by almost half from April 2011 totals.

OTHER CALCAREOUS VALUE
Total:
$7.7 million (-10.4%)
Sector leader: China @ $1.2 million (38.1%)

Backfill: Sure, there’s a 10% overall drop from May 2010, but that’s also the last month of Lebanon’s appearance in this U.S. import category. There’s only a few thousand dollars of difference (by value) from May to May between the top 15 importers; the biggest knock comes from Italy, down 43.4% at $936,108, with Portugal also dipping 19.6% at $784,273. France bucks up nicely at $770,726 (+45.1%), and Mexico shines at $670,347 (+21.7%).

OTHER CALCAREOUS VOLUME
Total: 14,054 metric tons (-76.0%)
Sector leader: Mexico @ 6,631 metric tons (1,287.2%)

Backfill: This is it; May 2011 marks the one-year anniversary of Lebanon’s last major shipments of other calcareous to the United States, which means a return to comparable year-to-year numbers next month. For now, it’s still a dance of factoring out Lebanon’s final impact and a massively abnormal May 2010 total from Turkey to get a real trend; slice those two countries from last year’s mix, and that 76% loss turns into a 121% gain. Trying to make sense of this May’s actual tonnage defies logic, as Mexico continues its fourth straight month of huge extraordinary shipments across the border.

SLATE VALUE
Total: $4.7 million (-5.0%)
Sector leader: China @ $2.2 million (7.4%)

Backfill: While totals aren’t as good as last May, slate still records its best month of the year. The fall-off is due to India’s $1.7 million shipped to the United States, down 19.7% from the previous May. Brazil also fell off by 9.4%, although it’s in a distant third with May’s total of $318,078.

OTHER STONE VALUE
Total: $15.7 million (-26.6%)
Sector leader: India @ $5.0 million (-5.2%)

Backfill: The omnibus category of U.S. stone imports continues to underperform in 2011, although May offers the best totals for the sector since last November. Of the million-dollar shippers, only China offers gains from last May at $2.1 million (7.9%). Brazil falls by 51.9% to $3.8 million; other decliners include Canada ($1.5 million, -27.5%) and Italy ($1.2 million, -27.2%).

OTHER STONE VOLUME
Total: 19,1487 metric tons (-27.3%)
Sector leader: India @ 6.059 metric tons (-4.0%)

Backfill: No country shipping more than a thousand metric tons in this category offered any growth in May 2011; compared to the same time last year, Brazil’s 5,236 metric tons shows a 52.9% decline. Canada also takes a big tumble – 18.3% — at 2,135 metric tons, and China’s 2,947 metric tons reflects a 5.6% drop. Italy, the fifth-largest importer, offers the first positive news with 7.1% growth … but shipments of only 664 metric tons.

Emerson Schwartzkopf


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StatWatch: U.S. Stone Imports, March 2011

StatWatch is a snapshot of U.S. dimensional-stone imports, offering a summary and exclusive Stone Business 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 March 2011 (change from March 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).

WORKED GRANITE VALUE
Total:
$66.5 million (5.2%)
Sector leader: Brazil @ $31.8 million (27.1%)

Backfill: Take the good news and run with it, as India also makes a major move in March 2011 with $10.8 million (up 25.2% from last year). After that, worked-granite values get a bit rugged: China, $9.5 million (down 35.0%); Italy ($8.9 million, down 2.3%); Canada ($1.9 million, down 12.3%); Taiwan ($1.3 million, down 17.0%); Spain ($945,151, down 3.7%). It takes that long to find the next positive, with Saudi Arabia moving up 25.2% to $503,059.

WORKED GRANITE VOLUME
Total: 76,680 metric tons (-15.8%)
Sector leader: Brazil @  38,709 metric tons (21.4%)

Backfill: India offered the drag-anchor this February in curbing slab/tile granite shipments. In March, it’s China, with its 11,610 metric tons representing a 65.5% dive from last year (and a big swoon from this January’s 41,770 metric tons). India turns directions again, moving up 7.3% from last March with 13,756 metric tons; Italy, meanwhile, stays relatively steady at $5,969 (down only 1.2%).

WORKED MARBLE VALUE
Total:
$14.5 million (1.3%)
Sector leader: Italy @ $7.3 million (31.1%)

Backfill: The better news in marble slabs/tiles comes with volume, although most of the major exporters offer some positives in value; Spain grows by 10.3% from last March at $1.8 million, and Turkey gets a 13.5% lift to $1.5 million. It’s China that takes the sizzle down to the fizzle, dropping 33.5% to $2.08 million and recording its worst month in worked-marble values in two years ($2.04 million, March 2009).

WORKED MARBLE VOLUME
Total:
14,543 metric tons (5.4%)
Sector leader: Italy @ 4,664 metric tons (85.5%)

Backfill: Italy’s gain comes at China’s expense; after leading the category for four months running, China’s 2,474 metric tons in March 2011 marks a 41.1% slide from the previous year. Spain peps up its U.S. shipments from March 2010 by 19.8% with 2,335 metric tons, while fourth-place Turkey manages to match last year’s total – 1,858 metric tons – right on the button this March.

TRAVERTINE VALUE
Total: $22.0 million (4.7%)
Sector leader: Turkey @ $14.9 million (11.7%)

Backfill: This sector goes wherever Turkey takes it, and this month the direction is up. The increase in custom values comes in spite of declines from second-place Mexico ($4.4 million, down 3.5% from March 2010) and #3 Italy $918,807 (down 28.7%). As is often the case with stone imports, though, changes in value don’t turn into less volume.

TRAVERTINE VOLUME
Total: 38,411 metric tons (9.9%)
Sector leader: Turkey @ 29,232 metric tons (7.3%)

Backfill: Turkey gets a hand from most of the countries exporting travertine to the United States this month. Mexico increases shipments for the third month in a row (5,720 metric tons, up 12.2% from March 2010), and Peru’s 820 metric tons shows a 10.4% boost from last year. At 1,434 metric tons in March 2011, China scores a 193.3% increase from a low point last year … but down sharply from its shipments this February.

OTHER CALCAREOUS VALUE
Total: $7.6 million (-13.7%)
Sector leader: Portugal @ $1.07 million (0.3%)

Backfill: In two months, the usual notation about the mysterious disappearance of Lebanon from the market will disappear – but, until then, this is a sector where comparisons to 2010 hold dubious value. Portugal barely edges out Italy’s $1.03 million in March 2011; however, Italy also takes a 40.9% dive from last year. Mexico makes a nice recovery at $926,771 (up 38.4%). China’s $764,027, meanwhile looks good when compared to March 2011 (up 8.5%), but it’s far short of the country’s $1.1 million from this February.

OTHER CALCAREOUS VOLUME
Total: 15,875 metric tons (-77.7%)
Sector leader: Mexico @ 9,558 metric tons (1,647.3%)

Backfill: The best guess here is that somebody north of Nuevo Laredo really loves Mexican limestone; last year, the country rarely shipped more than 500 metric tons a month of other calcareous across the border. Without the Mexican bonanza, this category’s tonnage would reach near-mortal losses; #2 Spain weighs in at 1,063 metric tons (up 40.2% from March 2010). Point of interest in 2011: In February, China cut its tonnage to half of its January total … and did the same halving act from February to March.

SLATE VALUE
Total: $3.9 million (5.7%)
Sector leader: India @ $2.0 million (33.4%)

Backfill: After perking along as the market leader for the last 10 months, China hits the brakes; the $866,028 for this March is a 32.6% drop from a year ago. Along with sector leader India, the United Kingdom ($352,541, up 182.5%) helps to pick up the slack.

OTHER STONE VALUE
Total: $12.3 million (-23.8%)
Sector leader: India @ $4.5 million (-17.4%)

Backfill: This omnibus (i.e., “what’s left”) category used to be so moribund that it didn’t seem worth tracking. Now it’s an up-and-down journey, and this month’s it’s down. All the million-dollar-plus importers take the fall: Brazil (-51.0%), China (-20.3%), Canada (-42.6%) and Italy (-1.7%, and enough to knock it down to under $1 million).

OTHER STONE VOLUME
Total: 14,909 metric tons (-25.56%)
Sector leader: India @ 5,595 metric tons (-19.2%)

Backfill: When the top three importing countries to the United States fall off in shipments, the whole category’s going to slump. Brazil’s 2,867 metric tons (-57.0% from last March) is the worst since 2009; China also falls by 11.6 % to 1,538 metric tons. Turkey, at 1,284 metric tons, manages to far surpass last March – which isn’t hard, given the paltry 113 metric tons from a year ago.

Emerson Schwartzkopf

You can read up-to-the-minute news on the dimensional-stone trade and search the archives at Stone Business Online.

The advertisements that appear on this page are placed by wordpress.com, and constitute no endorsement of the products or services. And I don’t get a dime from them, either.