CONFINDUSTRIA MARMOMACCHINE recently issued the tables created by the association’s Studies Center regarding the stone sector’s export trends in the first half of 2023. The overall export figure – covering both materials and extraction and processing technologies – showed essential confirmation of the record levels of 2022 (+0.1%), or worth of 1,566.3 million euros.
On the other hand, imports dropped by 10.7% in the first six months of the year, to 208.6 million euros, with a trade balance growing by 2% from January to June 2022 and amounting to 1,358 million.
In detail, after 1.7% growth last year – confirming the full recoup of pre-pandemic export levels – in the first half of 2023 the machine, installations and equipment segment saw a further uptake in foreign sales, with an increase in export value of 5.3% from the same period last year, for a total of 556.3 million euros. On the refence market level, the United States was again the top buyer of Italian stone-working technologies, with 101.9 million euros in imports – accounting for an 18.3% share of total segment exports – that was a further increase from the record levels in the first six mons of the previous year.
As regards data for exports of marbles, granites and other natural stones in the first half of 2023, the amounts were 2.6% lower that the records set in January to June 2022, reaching 1,010 million euros.
A disaggregated analysis of the data shows that the slight downturn in stone exports for the first half of the year was due mainly to decreases in foreign sales of finished and semi-finished products – those with the highest added value that account for more than 80% of the sector’s export revenue – which declined by 3% to 820.4 million euros. Holding steady, instead, were exports of raw materials, which reached 189.6 million (-0.6% less than in the first half of 2022). Driving exports of raw materials were primarily purchases by China – the top market for blocks of Italian marble – which in the first six months of 2023 were worth 91.3 million euros, and by India, second buyer in absolute with 24.2 million.
In regard to slabs and other finished stone products, the ranking of major destination markets saw the United States again in the lead, with imports worth 227.6 million euros, or more than a fourth of the Italy’s total exports of these goods. Germany was in second place with 74.2 million, followed by France with 56.1 million.
All the statistical tables and export data for various markets are available in the private area of the association’s website: www.assomarmomacchine.com