In 2022 Italy’s natural stone exports surpassed worth of 2.1 billion euros

1 June 2023

In 2022 a record outcome for Italian stone industry exports. According to official data processed and published by the CONFINDUSTRIA MARMOMACCHINE Studies Center, last year the sector’s total foreign sales of marbles, travertines, granites and natural stones in general – both raw and finished products – in fact increased in value by 13.1% from 2021, reaching the historic record of 2,131.8 million euros (the previous peak was in 2015, with 2,008 million).

This figure shows continuation of the growth trend seen in 2021 (+20.8% from 2020) that had already made it possible for Italian stone industry to fully recoup pre-pandemic levels and for the first time take export revenue about the 2.1-billion-euro mark. Thanks to this performance, the sector’s foreign sales last year were even 17.3% higher than in 2019.

As occurred in 2021, last year, too, the main driver of Italy’s natural stone exports was the finished and semi-finished product segment, which grew by 15.8% from the same period in 2021 for a total of 1,747.4 million. We remind readers that, in addition to having the highest added value, finished stone products historically account for more than three quarters of the worth of Italy’s stone exports as a whole, with a share that in 2022 reached 82%. Exports of raw stone remained pretty much on the same good level as the previous year (+2.1%), with revenue of 384.4 million.

Concentrating on destination markets, according to the CONFINDUSTRIA MARMOMACCHINE statistical report, in 2022 China was once again the top buyer of blocks of marble, granite and other natural stones extracted in Italy – although purchasing 10.2% less than in 2021 – with 174.9 million in imports (about 45.5% of Italy’s total raw stone exports). India ranked second, on a big rebound (+75.8%) with 50.1 million, and quite a bit behind it Egypt ranked third with 17 million (+24.6%).

Where markets for finished and semi-finished stone were concerned, again in 2022 the United States led the ranking, up 26.2% from 2021 with purchases worth 512.5 million euros, nearly 30% of all Italy’s exports of slabs and finished products. There were also significant upturns in sales to Italy’s main European partners, in particular to Germany (second buyer with 165.3 million, up 13%), France (third with 105.4 million, +15%), Switzerland (fourth with 103.9 million, +8.9&) and Austria (eighth with 48.1 million, +4.7%), while there was a slight decline – after the excellent 34.2% upturn in 2021 – in sales to the United Kingdom (sixth with 59.4 million, down by 5.7%).

Moving on to the Persian Gulf area, another traditional reference market for finished stone Made in Italy, there was good growth in exports to Saudi Arabia (fifth with imports worth 68 million, +31.8%) and the United Arab Emirates (seventh with 50.6 million, +23.2%). Finally, ending the top ten ranking were two important non-EU markets, Australia (ninth with 36.6 million, +13.4%) and Canada (tenth with 33.3 million, +16.6%).

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