Author:alvin Date:2/10/2009 12:09:51 AM Read:2552
The Valencia and Galicia Regions are the sector´s biggest exporters: Natural stone exports exceed € 1 billion in 2007
According to the report "Comercio Exterior del sector de la piedra natural en España" (Foreign trade in Spain´s natural stone sector), drawn up by the OMPN (Observatorio de Mercado de la Piedra Natural – Natural Stone Market Observatory), reporting to the AIDICO (Instituto Tecnológico de la Construcción – Construction Technology
Institute), and the FDP (Spanish Natural Stone Federation), in 2007 Spanish natural stone exports exceeded € 1 billion for the first time, an achievement made possible by
the accelerating internationalisation seen in the sector since the beginning of this century.
Exports stood at just over € 1 billion, representing a 6.8% increase on 2006. Meanwhile, imports, which since 2004 had also witnessed double-digit year-on-year growth, slowed slightly to reach €377.2 million. According to the study, Spain´s natural stone sector is maintaining a competitive position in foreign markets despite the emergence of new competitors such as China and India. European Union members constitute the main destination for Spanish exports and account for 68% of the sector´s export revenue. Within the EU, Spain´s biggest customers are France (27%), the United Kingdom (13%) and Germany (10%). Among non-EU destinations, greatest sales are made to the United States (14%), China (9%) and the United Arab Emirates (4%).
As regards exports by volume, China receives the biggest quantity of Spanish stone (26%), although the EU overall remains the country´s main export destination, accounting for 58% of the total. The countries showing greatest volume demand for Spain´s natural stone exports are France (20%) and the United Kingdom (10%).
Turning to imports, China is the country from which most stone is bought, accounting for 25% of the total sum, although imports from other EU members are also significant and provide 28% overall, essentially from Italy (14%) and Portugal (12%). Other countries that sell notable volumes of stone to Spain are Turkey (14%), India (12%), and Brazil (11%), among others. By volume, imports from the EU make up the biggest share of the total at 38%, of which 29% comes from Portugal. Nevertheless, the report also underlines that China provides 21%, Turkey 11% and India 10%.
The Valencia and Galicia regions are the sector´s biggest exporters, between them accounting for 76% of export revenue and 54% of spending on imports. As is to be expected, export sources are more densely concentrated than those of imports, especially in stone-producing areas. The Autonomous Region of Valencia led the sector in terms of both exports (41%) and imports (28%). It was followed by Galicia, which accounted for 35% and 26%, respectively. As regards export revenue, these regions were followed by Castile-Leon (8%), the Basque Country, Catalonia, Andalusia and Murcia. As regards imports, distribution was less densely concentrated and, behind the Autonomous Regions of Valencia and Galicia, Catalonia (11%), Andalusia (10%) and the Basque Country (9%) were the biggest recipients.
By volume, the breakdown is fairly similar, except in the case of imports, in which Galicia emerges as the autonomous region that imports the greatest volume of natural stone (39%), followed by the Autonomous Region of Valencia (22%), Catalonia (11%), the Basque Country (7%) and Andalusia (8%). By material, the report indicates that marble, which accounts for 54% of volume and 49% of export revenue in the sector (€501.6 million), is the biggest export. It is followed by slate (34% of export revenue, €348 million) and granite (17% of revenue, €175 million). In terms of imports, granite represents 50% of the total value (€187 million), whilst marble constitutes 43% (€162 million) and slate provides just 7% (€27 million).