2019 Hard-Surface Imports

Marble

2019 Value: $492,030,313 Change from 2018: -3.1%

Worked Marble Imports

(U.S. dollars)

While quartz-surface and porcelain-slab producers create more marble-look product every month, there’s also strong demand for natural worked marble. So why is the value of U.S. imports less in 2019 than the previous year?

With hard-surface supply, countries to the U.S. tend to divide into two camps – those with premium-priced goods and those offering more value for the money.

In worked marble’s case, the premium producer is Italy; the country’s small decline of less than 7% in value makes a big difference in total marble valuation.

The big drop in 2019 also involved China, where a 30% drop also helped move the needle to the red for total U.S. import value.

2019 Volume: 508,090 MT Change from 2018: 7.0%

Worked Marble Imports

(metric tons)

Turkey, the leader of the more-for-the-money camp in worked marble, cranked up the shipments last year, sending more than 200,000 metric tons to the United States. The 55,000 metric tons gained in 2019 is impressive, although it wasn’t as large as the 61,000 metric-ton leap the country made in 2018.

India showed a good single-digit increase from 2018 to move into second place.

Italy dropped to third; the country that also led in volume as well as value until 2015 showed a fourth consecutive year of decline.

China, however, fell farther. More than 100,000 metric tons of Chinese marble passed through U.S. ports-of-entry in both 2016 and 2017; in 2019, the country didn’t reach the 60,000 metric-ton level.

2019 Value per Ton: $968.39 Change from 2018: -9.5%

Worked Marble Imports

(U.S. dollars)

As with granite VPT, Italy’s premium rates place it far above other competitors and creates its own path in a higher stratum. The country’s lower volume, however, lessens any market-price influence; while Italy’s worked-value-marble VPT rose since 2016, the overall average for all countries declined.

The overall average also marked a middle ground with marble VPT, with Brazil, China and Spain all hovering in the $900-$1,000 range. The biggest shippers – Turkey and India – dipped into the $400-$500 level.

And why show Greece and Spain? Both are relatively mid-level shippers to the United States (8,801 MT and 6,724 MT, respectively), but the countries are synonymous with marble supply to many U.S. designers and consumers.