How the pandemic affected China’s imports of marble and granite blocks and slabs between 2019 – 2020?
China has absorbed an average of 65% of world marble blocks and slabs exports and 42% of granite blocks over the past decade. As expected, the COVID-19 pandemic, which first hit China, had a major impact on the international natural stone market. Marble blocks and slabs and granite import statistics released by the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China show the impact of the pandemic and lockdowns and the recovery in the last months of 2020. However, the recovery is likely to be volatile due to the chain reactions caused by the pandemic. A typical example is the disruption of the supply chain, due to the lack of ships and empty containers, leading to delays and significant increases in fares.
China’s marble blocks and slabs imports between 2019 and 2020 fell by -19.95% in value and -28.15% in quantity. In the Table below we see in detail the monthly changes (%) in the value and quantity of imports.
Despite the outbreak of the pandemic, imports of marble blocks and slabs between January and March 2020, recorded an increase in value and quantity of more than 35%. Between April and August, imports fluctuated sharply due mainly to lockdowns in both China and major supplier countries. From September until the end of the year, imports recovered and reached the levels of 2019. The month with the lowest imports was May while the highest was March.
Among China’s main suppliers of marble blocks and slabs, imports from Turkey fell the least, while imports from Iran fell the most.
China’s imports of granite blocks and slabs in 2020 showed the opposite of marble. Statistics show that granite imports were not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, with a marginal decline in value of -0,55% between 2019 and 2020. 55% while in the quantity they recorded an increase of + 7.09%. In the Table below we see in detail the monthly changes (%) in the value and quantity of imports.
The year 2020 started with a rise for China’s granite imports, which were rising steadily until March. Between April and June, imports were particularly low, affected by lockdowns in China and supplier countries. In the second half of 2020, despite the fluctuations, imports increased and exceeded in value and quantity in the corresponding period of 2019. The month with the lowest imports was May while the highest was March.
Among China ‘s main suppliers of marble blocks and slabs, imports from India saw a marginal decline in import value and an increase in quantity. Imports from Brazil recorded a significant increase compared to 2019.
* The statistics are derived from the analysis of the Tariff Class Codes – Harmonized System (HS) Codes:
25151100: Marble & travertine, crude or roughly trimmed.
25151200: Marble & travertine, merely cut into a square / rectangular blocks / slabs.
25161100: Granite, crude or roughly trimmed.
25161200: Granite, merely cut into a square / rectangular blocks / slabs.
*Due to consistent data flow, statistics may alter during the year
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