What was the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Greek marble exports in the first nine months of 2020?
Greece’s marble exports show an improvement in the first nine months of 2020. Specifically, between January – September 2020, there was an increase in the value of exports by + 32.3% and the quantity by + 23.38%.
The downward trend of 2019 continued and worsened in the first months of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown. From January to April, exports have been steadily declining, but from May to July they are increasing. The rise was halted in August but returned in September, recording the highest value and quantity of exports in the nine months.
Despite the positive course of recent months, marble exports remain significantly lower than in 2019. Specifically, between the nine months 2019 – 2020, there is a decline in the value of exports -32.73% and in quantity -28.16%. Individual exports of marble blocks and slabs fell -43.11% and finished marble products -15.06%.
In the Table below we see the changes of the total marble exports of Greece between the nine months 2019 – 2020.
In the Table we observe the gradual decline of exports, during the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown, and the gradual rise after the “opening” of markets.
In the shadow of the trade war, the outbreak of the pandemic in China foreshadowed that 2020 would be a difficult year for marble exports. Marble blocks and slabs represent over 60% of Greece’s total marble exports, of which 86% are absorbed by China.
Nevertheless, the progress of finished marble products and the improvement of marble blocks and slabs show that the market is recovering. Marble companies have adapted to the new data. Restrictions on travel and cancellation of exhibitions have led to the adoption of new communication methods for the presentation and promotion of products.
* The statistics are derived from the analysis of the Tariff Class Codes – Harmonized System (HS) Codes:
25151100: Marble and travertine, crude or roughly trimmed.
25151200: Marble and travertine, merely cut, by sawing or otherwise, into blocks or slabs of a square or rectangular shape.
68022100: Marble, travertine and alabaster articles thereof, simply cut or sawn, with a flat or even surface (excl. With a completely or partly planed, sand-dressed, coarsely or finely ground or polished surface, tiles, cubes and similar articles of subheading 6802.10, setts, curbstones and flagstones)
68029100: Marble, travertine and alabaster, in any form (excl. Tiles, cubes and similar articles of subheading 6802.10, imitation jewelery, clocks, lamps and lighting fittings and parts thereof, buttons, original sculptures and statuary, setts, curbstones and flagstones)
*Due to consistent data flow, statistics may alter during the year
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