2019 Hard-Surface Imports

Other Stone

2019 Value: $349,539,871 Change from 2018: -7.5%

Other Stone Imports

(U.S. dollars)

Compared with the two previous years, 2019 appeared to be a downer for Other Stone. The sector’s customs value showed a second year of decline, with only one of the top five exporters to the United States (Canada) showing a year-to-year uptick.

Both 2017 and 2018 are tough acts to follow, however, since those two years also mark the high point in Other Stone value. And that’s in all-time; 2019’s $349.5 million is actually the fourth-best year for the sector, easily besting the go-go natural-stone market of the mid-2000s.

The main driver of the boom is Brazil, which accelerated past India in the early 2010s and kept a sharp pace. The country’s $153.4 million in Other Stone value marked a relatively small decline of 4.1%.

2019 Volume: 400,341 MT Change from 2018: -12.1%

Other Stone Imports

(metric tons)

Last year’s Other Stone volume suffered with the same comparison problem as value; the total is down from 2017 and 2018, but it’s also the fifth-best year for the sector’s U.S. imports since the federal government standardized data reporting in 1998.

In 2019, Brazil fell behind India for the top spot in Other Stone volume – if only by slightly more than a metric ton. Both saw slippage from 2018 levels, with Brazil managing to get much more in value for its declining volume.

China and Mexico went the other way; the former showed steady growth in the past two years, while the latter tripled its shipments across the U.S. southern border. (Mexico also paid the price, as shown in the VPT chart below.)

2019 Value per Ton: $873.11 Change from 2018: 5.3%

Other Stone Imports

(U.S. dollars)

Other Stone VPT took a wide spread of close to $1,800 last year, from Italy’s $2,142.86 to Mexico’s $284.04. Five years ago, the VPT difference came to only slightly more than $725, with Italy high and China low.

As noted, the huge growth in Other Stone volume from Mexico translated to a steep drop – almost 75% -- in VPT, which looks more like an irregular flow of very-low-cost dimensional stone than an overall markdown of the material.

The 2019 volume of Other Stone imports stood 23.5% higher than 2015 – but overall VPT went down only 8.9%.