The granite exports are finding their feet back after being in doldrums last year due to the corona virus restrictions. However, it is now seeing a huge shortage of containers, which is impacting the movement of granite, according to Krishna Prasad, General Secretary, Federation of Indian Granite and Stone Industry.
Rajasthan tops the list of exporters and is followed by Telangana and Andhra Pradesh combine in the next place. Within Telangana, granite is a mainstream activity in Khammam, Karimnagar, Warangal districts of Telangana. The quarried granite is converted into blocks and exported to China, US and Europe for value-addition.
“The year 2020 was a complete washout due to the corona virus and accompanying travel restrictions. We have recently seen the demand coming back. The US and Europe are the key importers as construction is happening. However, we are not able to find enough number of containers to carry on the exports,” said Prasad.
The trade fell to near zero in 2020 and has now started growing. “We hope to reach the previous level in about a year and then see a ten per cent increase in the year after that considering that we had near zero exports last year,” Prasad said.
About 25 lakh people are employed all over the country and this will go up with various environmental clearances coming for the quarrying activities. The two Telugu States account for about 10 per cent or more of the total exports and provide employment to about six lakh people.
There is demand for black granite and as well as various other colours. This apart, artificial granite (quartz) is also finding buyers in the export markets. Domestic market is also coming back slowly. The industry is investing on new technologies. Quartz is one such area which has seen a lot of investments in the past three years or so.
On the pricing, granite fetches $ 600 to $2,500 per cubic metre for the blocks. For the finished materials, the price ranges from $ 30 per square metre to $ 70 per square metre.
“The granite industry is still facing difficulties in terms of demand. Non-availability of containers is a big issue now,” said Gautam Chand Jain, CMD, Pokarna Granites.