What was the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on exports of finished marble products from Brazil, Greece, Spain, Italy, China, Portugal and Turkey?
Brazil, Greece, Spain, Italy, China, Portugal, Turkey account for more than 80% of world exports of finished marble products. The largest exporters are China, followed by Turkey and Italy. Greece, Spain, Portugal and Brazil lag far behind in export value compared to the top three countries, yet they export large quantities of high value.
In the midst of the trade war between the USA – China the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has come to further complicate the situation in the world trade in natural stones. From the analysis of the statistical data and the comparison of the changes in the value and the quantity of exports between 2019 – 2020, interesting data emerged that we see in the Table that follows.
The Table shows that, unlike other countries, the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns had a positive effect on exports of finished marble products from Brazil and Turkey. The rise is due to the increase in exports of the two countries to the US. Brazil and Turkey, since the beginning of the trade war between the US. – China and then, increase their exports to the US diverting shares from China. The average price per tonne in Brazil fell compared to 2019 by -8.51% and in Turkey by -4.32%.
Against the outbreak of the pandemic and the trade war, China managed to contain the decline by increasing exports mainly to Vietnam and Saudi Arabia. The decline in exports to the US continued in 2020, however, with a lower percentage than in the period 2018 – 2019. The average price per tonne increased compared to 2019 by + 10.15%.
Italy has been hit hard by the pandemic and lockdowns, but has kept its exports high due to rising exports to Saudi Arabia and Qatar and a narrowing of the fall to the United States. price per ton increased compared to 2019 by + 2.71%.
Greece recorded a decline mainly due to the reduction of exports to the USA. and the United Arab Emirates. The increase in exports to Saudi Arabia helped curb the overall decline. The average price per tonne decreased compared to 2019 by -10.43%.
Portugal is the only country among the rest that recorded a decline in value and an increase in the volume of exports leading to a decrease in the average price per tonne by -19.6%. The rapid increase in exports to China at a very low average price per tonne had a decisive effect on the whole.
Spain recorded a decrease in value and quantity but increased the average price per ton by + 11.36%. In all the main destinations of finished marble products in Spain there was a decline with the only exceptions France and Morocco.
*The statistics are derived from the analysis of the Tariff Class Codes – Harmonized System (HS) Codes:
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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