South Korea is one of the major importers of finished natural stones in the world. In 2019, the country was the second largest importer of finished granite products based in import value. And this is mainly because of the use of finished marble and granite products in construction and building works. From flooring and walls to kitchen tops and bathrooms and from high rise apartments and average villas to public areas and restrooms, hospitals and wedding venues, marble and/or granite products find their place to be.
The 1st quarter of 2020 was a really tough period for all economies due to the COVID-19 global spread. In many cases sectors like construction, trade and transportation were severely hit due to the implementation of restrictive measures. South Korea was the one and only country that got over the coronavirus without even a partial lockdown and thus avoiding an economy shut down. Extensive testing and contact tracing measures helped South Korea to avoid strict lockdown policies. Work on most of the construction projects had continued even with strict social distancing measures in place. However, the country’s economy is forecast to contract by 1.2% (real GDP) in 2020.
How has the continuation of construction affected the South Korean marble and granite products consumption? Stonenews.eu, after collecting, studying and editing the statistical data provided by the International Trade Center (ITC) and the Korean Customs and Trade Development Institute (KCTDI), is presenting South Korea’s finished marble and granite products imports growth during the 1st quarter of 2020, compared with last year’s same quarter as well as the exact previous quarter in 2019, both in value and quantity of imports.
As seen at the picture above, finished marble products imports of South Korea moved upwards in the first quarter of 2020 compared with last year’s same quarter, both in value and quantity of imports. On the contrary, finished granite products imports suffered a large decline both in value and quantity of imports. When compared to the just previous quarter, i.e. the last of 2019, South Korea’s both marble and granite products of the 1st 2020 quarter showed an overall decrease, with finished granite to suffer the most.
*Due to consistent data flow, statistics may alter during the year