By Emerson Schwartzkopf

In November 2017, granite looked good ... at far as U.S. imports are concerned.

The Stone Update analysis of November data from the U.S International Trade Commission put "worked" granite -- cut and one side polished -- in double-digit growth from the previous year, with only one of the top five granite-exporting countries showing any slowdown.

The positive numbers ran the gamut of November 2017 hard-surface imports, with stellar growth (again) with quartz slabs and upwards movement from other varieties. Only travertine shipments dropped in year-to-year comparisons.

Before breaking out the hats and horns for the Granite's Back! parties, though, there's one big reason for November 2017 looking so good: November 2016 was a down month. The next-to-last month of 2016 was the worst for U.S. granite imports in all of that year, and the 30.5% increase from market leader Brazil (and 23.4% hike for second-place China) in November 2017 result from comparisons with lousy numbers.

India and Spain, meanwhile, only showed year-to-year growth of 2.1% and 0.4%, respectively, but those still shows a gain. Of the top five, only Canada took a tumble, although the 26.6% decrease is being compared to a abnormally high total for November 2016 shipments.

Quartz-slab shipments continued to climb in November 2017, led by China's astonishing 61.7% year-to-year growth in square-footage sent to the United States. Of the top five, Israel and India marked double-digit jumps at 35.5% and 27.7%, respectively, while Spain showed "only" a 6.1% gain; Canada sounded the only sour note, but only a soft one with a nominal 0.5% decline.

Sharp-eyed quartzologists may be spotting a trend, however, of quartz-slab imports peaking and beginning to slow down the lunar-launch speed of growth. The 2017 pace in growth is easing after a monthly high point of slightly more than 11 million ft² in September. While monthly import numbers taper off in the fourth quarter for any hard surface -- the same happened in 2016 with quartz in October-November 2016 before a big December rebound -- but it's worth watching closely.

December 2017 hard-surface import data will be featured next month at stoneupdate.com, with the annual report coming in the March-April issue of Stone Update Magazine. You can check the third-quarter 2017 wrap-up report in the magazine's November-December 2017 issue.

 

WORKED GRANITE

250 Nov 2017 WorkedGranite volume pieClick on chart to enlarge

 

November 2017: 117,554 metric tons

 

Change from previous year: 16.1%

 

Market leader: Brazil, 48,927 metric tons

 

Change from previous year: 30.5%

 

 

WORKED MARBLE

250 Nov 2017 WorkedMarble volumeClick on chart to enlarge

 

November 2017: 34,933 metric tons

 

Change from previous year: 4.8%

 

Market leader: Turkey, 11,637 metric tons

 

Change from previous year: 61.8%

 

 

 

QUARTZ SURFACES

250 Nov 2017 Quartz volumeClick on chart to enlarge

 

November 2017: 10,320,933 ft²

 

Change from previous year: 33.8%

 

Market leader: China, 5,993,566 ft²

 

Change from previous year: 61.7%

 

 

 

TRAVERTINE

250 Nov 2017 TravertineClick on chart to enlarge

 

November 2017: 22,916 metric tons

 

Change from previous year: -23.6%

 

Market leader: Turkey, 17,203 metric tons

 

Change from previous year: -22.8%

 

 

 

OTHER CALCAREOUS

250 Nov 2017 OtherCalcClick on chart to enlarge

 

November 2017: 12,613 metric tons

 

Change from previous year: 16.0%

 

Market leader: China, 2,658 metric tons

 

Change from previous year: 39.4%

 

 

 

OTHER STONE

250 Nov 2017 OtherStoneClick on chart to enlarge

 

November 2017: 37,825 metric tons

 

Change from previous year: 25.9%

 

Market leader: Brazil, 16,505 metric tons

 

Change from previous year: 48.2%

 

 


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