The remainder of the imported dimensional stones – other calcareous (such as limestone and alabaster), slate and the catch-all “other” (encompassing sandstone and everything else) – is smaller and showed more stability in value and volume. Trends remained the same as seen at the end of 2005.

In dimensional (non-roofing) slate, China and India continued a close competition for first place in the first half of this year, the Chinese came out on top with $23.9 million, barely topping India’s $23.6 million. Brazil trailed far behind at $5.1 million, followed by Italy at $3.5 million. China grew its share of slate imports from first-half 2005 by 28.9 percent, compared with India’s 11.7 percent.

Other calcareous stone proved to be the mixed bag of stone imports, with Spain’s $20.8 million in this year’s first six months leading the field despite a 10.8 percent decline from first-half 2005. Second-place Italy took a 17.5-percent hit from the same time last year with first-half 2006’s $19.7 million. Israel, at $8.4 million, marked an 8.3 increase from last year’s first half, and Turkey’s $7.3 million showed a 10.1-percent rise.

India led the way in other stone, with its first-half 2006 U.S. imports of $34.9 million showing a 47.9-percent rise from the same time last year. Brazil’s $33.9 million accounted for a 22.3-percent increase, while Italy’s $20 million marked a 10.1-percent decrease. Canada sent $16.6 million across the border; its 16.4-percent increase moved the U.S. neighbor to fourth.

Data for this article is derived from information reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Treasury and the U.S. International Trade Commission. All analysis is made using comparable data. “Cut stone/slab” data excludes crude/roughly trimmed stone comprised of marble/travertine, granite or other categories where volume measurement is in cubic meters instead of metric tons. Marble/travertine crude/roughly trimmed stone data is not included in value summaries, since the two stones are not delineated in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (2002) (Revision 2).

Original publication ©2006 Western Business Media Inc. Use licensed to the author.

Get all the latest in the industry with The EDGE, the enewsletter from Stone Update. Free subscriptions are available here.