Strong shipments from Brazil set the pace for U.S. stone imports in March and April, as other market leaders slow down their traffic.

250 blokyardData from the U.S. International Trade Commission shows a 15.8% increase for worked granite in March-April this year, compared with totals from 2013. The 243,374 metric tons (MT) overall included more than half – 127,299 MT – from Brazil, a 31.9% increase from March-April 2013.

China, the big mover in granite earlier this year, put the brakes on shipments in March, as it did in 2013. Its 55,531 MT for this March and April represents only a 1.8% increase from last year. India’s March-April 35,489 MT notes a 19.4% from the same time in 2013; Italy’s 12,054 MT represents a 17% drop.

Italy turned around the worked marble market, however, with its 16,020 MT this March-April offering a 15.2% increase from 2013. China, the worked-marble leader in January-February, slides to third with 6,319 MT (-19.1% MT below last March-April) while Turkey moves to second with 7,112 MT (+16.6%).

Overall, the March-April worked-marble imports total 43,036 MT, a 14.7% increase from the same time in 2013.

Turkey’s import increases also kicks travertine imports into high gear, with the market-dominating company shipping 92,228 MT in March-April – a 59.3% increase from 2013. Travertine imports overall in March-April move to 113,056 MT (up 53.9% from the same time last year), with Mexico’s 11,490 MT (+12.8) giving an additional boost.

The other-calcareous-stone sector again includes a couple of one-month wonder companies in March-April to inflate the totals; Pakistan went from 64 MT in March to 2,001 in April, and France takes a similar track with a 389 MT March and 1,500 MT April. The 22,866 MT for March-April 2014 shows some one-time inflation, but it’s also on the same scale as last year … so the real growth rate is likely close to the 21.9% shown by sticking to the raw import numbers.

After several years of steady growth, the catch-all category of other stone dulls in March-April to a 2.6% growth from last year. While Brazil (16,420 MT, +26.5%) and China (5,820 MT, +35.4%) push more through U.S ports-of-entry, other countries such as India, Turkey, Italy and Canada ship less than the same time a year ago.

Slate also moves up slowly in March-April, with a total import value of $7.7 million marking a 3.7% increase from the previous year. China remains the leader at $3.1 million (+18.2%); the only other significant gain is from the United Kingdom, leaping 19.8% to $534,595.

All figures are metric tons, unless specified. Increases from the same period in 2013 are noted in parentheses. All data is from the U.S. International Trade Commission with Stone Update analysis.

March-April 2014

Worked Granite

All Countries – 243,374 (+15.8)
1. Brazil – 127,299 (+31.9)
2. China – 55,531 (+1.8%)
3. India – 35,489 (+19.4)
4. Italy – 12.054 (-17.0%)
5. Spain – 5,639 (+19.3%)

Worked Marble

All Countries – 43,036 (+14.7%)
1. Italy – 16,020 (+15.2%)
2. Turkey – 7,112 (+16.6%)
3. China – 6,391 (-19.1%)
4. Spain – 4,380 (-0.7%)
5. Brazil – 2,326 (+269.2%)

Travertine

All Countries – 113,056 (+53.9%)
1. Turkey – 92,228 (+59.3%)
2. Mexico – 11,490 (+12.8%)
3. Italy – 5,818 (+517.0%)
4. Peru – 1,731 (-9.3%)
5. China – 1,230 (-34.9%)

Other Calcareous

All Countries – 22,866 (21.9%)
1. China – 3,253 (-38.2%)
2. Italy – 3,142 (+76.4%)
3. Turkey – 2,565 (+109.7%)
4. Portugal – 2,409 (+80.4%)
5. Pakistan – 2,065 (n/a)

Other Stone

All Countries – 46,010 (+2.6%)
1. Brazil – 16,420 (+26.5%)
2. India – 14,758 (-11.7%)
3. China – 5,820 (+35.4%)
4. Italy – 2,055 (-18.5%)
5. Turkey – 2,041 (-11.6%)

Slate
(U.S. dollars)

All Countries – $7,772,187 (+3.7%)
1. China - $3,111,699 (+18.2%)
2. India - $2,661,267 (-1.9%)
3. Brazil - $936,544 (-1.2%)
4. United Kingdom - $534,595 (+19.8%)
5. Spain - $147,120 (-3.6%)


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