South Korea is among the top three largest importers of processed granite and marble worldwide. Over the last five years, the country’s processed granite imports have been steadily declining, while marble imports have been rising.
Specifically, between 2017 – 2021, the value of imports of processed granites fell by -28.24% and the quantity by -37.96%. In the same period, the import value of processed marbles increased by +12.27% and the quantity by +109.65%. Imports of ceramics recorded an increase in value by +14.12% and quantity by +1.99%.
However, despite the rise in imports of processed marbles, the average price per tonne is constantly falling, while the average price per tonne of processed granite and ceramics is rising. Between 2017 – 2021 the average price per tonne of marbles decreased by -46.45%, while granites increased by +15.66% and ceramics by +11.9%.
Focusing on the import trend between 2020 – 2021, the table below shows the changes in the value and quantity of imports:
The table shows a significant increase in imports of processed marbles and ceramics. In contrast, processed granite imports show a slight increase in value and a small decrease in quantity.
Analysing the data above, it becomes apparent that the South Korean market seems to have been mainly oriented towards marble in the last five years. Specifically, the shift is towards low-priced marble, something that the rapid increase in imports from Egypt also confirms.
From 2017 to 2021, the number of imports of processed marble from Egypt has increased by 2000%. With this rise, in 2021, Egypt was South Korea’s first primary supplier, leaving China second for the first time.
In 2021, the average price per tonne of imported Egyptian marbles was around $135. In the same period, the average cost per tonne of imported marbles from China was around $1,000.
In imports of processed granite and ceramics, South Korea’s primary supplier remains China.
*The statistics are derived from the analysis of the Tariff Class Codes – Harmonized System (HS) Codes:
680221: 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).
680291: 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) .
680223: Granite and articles thereof, simply cut or sawn, with a flat or even surface (excluding with a completely or partly planed, sand-dressed, coarsely or finely ground or polished surface, tiles, cubes and similar articles of subheading 6802 10 00 , setts, curbstones and flagstones).
680293: Granite, in any form, polished, decorated or otherwise worked (excluding tiles, cubes and similar articles of subheading 6802.10, imitation jewelery, clocks, lamps and lighting fittings and parts thereof, original sculptures and statuary, setts, curbstones and flagstones) .
6907: Ceramic flags and paving, hearth or wall tiles; ceramic mosaic cubes and the like, whether or not on a backing (excl. of siliceous fossil meals or similar siliceous earths, refractory goods, tiles specially adapted as table mats, ornamental articles and tiles specifically manufactured for stoves).
*Due to consistent data flow, statistics may alter during the year
For more statistics contact [email protected]