Italian stone industry exports: in the first 8 months of 2023 materials slipped but technologies held steady

8 January 2024

The first eight months of 2023 confirmed the stability of Italian stone sector exports. This was seen in the data processed by the CONFINDUSTRIA MARMOMACCHINE Studies Center, which show that – despite a slight contraction over the summer from the figures for the first six months – from January to August the overall worth of foreign sales of materials and the technologies to work them surpassed 2 billion euros (2,072,577,506 to be precise), basically remaining on the record levels of the previous year (with a minus 0.5% variation from the first eight months of 2022). We remind readers that exports account for more than 70% of the industry’s total revenue and therefore serve as an excellent litmus test for the health of the Italian stone/techno stone industry.

Looking in detail at the composition of these exports we note that from January to August 2023 foreign sales of marbles, granites, travertines and natural stones in general reached worth of 1,350 million euros, a slight drop (-2.7%) from the first eight months of the previous year. The biggest downturn concerned the finished and semi-finished product segment – the one with the highest added value – whose exports decreased by 3.1%, settling at 1,091.5 million. There was a smaller decline in exports of raw stones (-1%), with revenue of 258.4 million.

Where markets were concerned, China remained the top buyer of stone blocks from Italy, with imports worth 124.2 million (down 3.5% from the first eight months of 2022), followed by India with 36.9 million (+15.4%). For finished products, the United States was again in the lead, with purchases worth 312.8 million, a physiological 9% downturn from record imports the previous year. Germany was in second place (95.2 million, -3.5%), followed by France (70.1 million, +6.1%), Switzerland (67.5 million, +1.4%) and the United Arab Emirates (41.7 million, +34.9%).

Going on to technologies, in the first eight months of 2023 Italy’s exports of machines, installations, tools and other equipment for extracting and processing natural stones instead registered growth of 3.7% from the already good increase in 2022 – which had confirmed the full recoup of pre-pandemic export levels – reaching worth of 772.6 million euros.

The top market was again the United States, whose imports of stone technologies Made in Italy from January to August 2023 were worth 121.6 million euros (down 5.6% from the previous year), followed by Germany (38.5 million, +1%), India (38.4 million, +9.6%), Canada (35.8 million, +12.5%) and Spain (30 million, -34.9%).

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