First-Half 2021 Hard-Surface Imports

Slowdown? What Slowdown?

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Photo by Timelab Pro / Unsplash

All through the first half of 2021, the smart talk in the hard-surface industry focused on how the business boom will end. All economic indicators -- not to mention common sense -- pointed to a declining market. And then reality set in … as demand, shipments and values increased for the majority of natural stone, quartz surfaces and porcelain arriving in the United States. Contractors and consumers didn’t get the memo on the downturn; they were too busy working. We here at Stone Update Magazine know the good times can’t last forever. Memories of The Great Recession, along with the pandemic’s continuing effect on business worldwide, are enough to cool any blind optimism. The performance of hard-surface imports from January-June this year, however, is in the books with record growth. The following is a mid-year summary of import volume and declared customs values. All data come from the U.S. International Trade Commission, with analysis by our sister e-magazine Hard-Surface Report.

Our interactive charts show the top five countries , both in shipment volume and total customs value, in each sector. Putting your cursor (or, in the case of mobile devices, your finger) on the different segments of the bar charts will show country name and corresonding total.

Putting the cursor or finger over a single country in the chart legend will highlight that country's chart segment.

There's a five-year view for total value of all hard-surface imports to give an overall feel for market progression.

Normally, we then compare each sector with the previous year, but with -- well, 2020 -- we're giving a three-year view to put the pandemic slowdown in perspective.

U.S. Hard-Surface Imports January-June

Total January-June 2021: $2,433,988,510 (47.8%>2020)

Shipments include granite, marble, travertine, other calcareous, non-roofing slate and other stone dimensional surfaces, cut and polished on one side (worked); agglomerate slabs with quartz as the primer material; and porcelain ceramic flags and paving, hearth or wall tiles, of a water absorption coefficient by weight <= 0,5 % (excl. refractory, mosaic cubes and finishing ceramics)..