China’s marble imports in the first nine months of 2020

What was the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on China’s marble imports in the first nine months of 2020?

China is the country with the greatest influence on world marble imports and exports. Being the largest importer of raw marble and the largest exporter of processed marble determines the course of the international market.

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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown imposed on China affected all supplier countries causing an unprecedented drop in world marble trade.

China, according to the statistics of the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China between the nine months 2019 – 2020 records a decrease in the value of imports by -27.32% and in quantity by -34.8%.

In the Table below we see the monthly changes in the value and quantity of raw marble imports of China between the nine months 2019 – 2020.

The impact is clearly reflected in the Table where we observe the decline in imports during the nine months of 2020 compared to 2019. It may be striking that the months with the largest decline are July and May. However, it should be borne in mind that China’s main suppliers were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic while many were in lockdown. Also, the transfer of marble products from the main suppliers to China takes about a month, while we must take into account the time needed, in the midst of a pandemic, for the customs clearance of imported products.

The decline in China’s marble imports is clearly large. However, it was retained by Fujian Province, which was hit much less by the rest of China.

Fujian is the province with the largest marble imports in China. It is followed by Guangdong Province, which recorded the largest drop because it was hit hardest by the pandemic.

September marble imports  were improved while Kians’s economy in the third quarter of the year, recovered further from the pandemic, recording an increase in GDP. by 4.9%. Domestic consumption is also one of the main pillars of China’s new five-year plan recently released.

The announcement of COVID-19 vaccine production is added to China’s encouraging data. However, the second wave of COVID-19 is currently affecting the entire planet and the consequences are difficult to predict.

* 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

68022110: Monumental / building stone of marble, cut / sawn flat or even 68029110: Carvings of marble, travertine and alabaster 68029190: Worked building stone nes, of marble, travertine and alabaster

*Due to consistent data flow, statistics may alter during the year

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