The trade war between the United States and China and the tendency to buy Brazilian quartzites in the international market – presented in large scale during the last edition of Vitoria Stone Fair | Marmomac Latin America – were key factors in the growth of ornamental stone exports in the first quarter of this year.
Data released by the Brazilian Association of Ornamental Stones (Abirochas) indicate that, for the first time since 2013, sales to the foreign market closed with positive variation: 8.29% in value (US $ 223.2 million) and 4.03%. in physical volume (451.5 thousand tons), compared to the same period last year.
Confirming the trend of launches presented during Vitoria Stone Fair | Marmomac Latin America, in February 2019, quartzite exports performed exceptionally well in the period analyzed, with double plate sales and more than 50% increase in block material exports. Data from Abirochas indicate that quartzite slabs already represent the second main item exported by the sector and that, by 2020, sales of these massive products may equal or even surpass those of similar granites and rocks.
The entity’s technical advisor, Cid Chiodi, attributes the increase in exports to the contingency of Chinese rocks in the United States – the main destination country for Brazilian materials. “The increase in exports was significant because it changed a downward trend that has been with us for a few years,” he said.
Chiodi adds that the trade war between the United States and China may even be beneficial for Brazil in the short term, but in the medium and long term, the country needs to invest in measures to change the path of declining sales in the so-called third wave. export sector.
The expert explains that Brazil first exported blocks (first wave), then sawn and polished plates (second wave) – placing Brazil as the fourth world player – and now the focus is on finished products, adding value to materials.This movement was stamped at the Brazilian Stones Original Design and Stone Collection exhibitions, held during the last edition of Vitória Stone Fair.(link)
“It’s time to modernize the rock finishing industries and processes to deliver finished products for foreign trade by investing in construction solutions,” he said.
In the first quarter of 2019, Espírito Santo exported US $ 178.3 million in ornamental stones, confirming the leadership among the main exporting states. In second place is Minas Gerais, with US $ 25.3 million. The main destination of Brazilian stones in the international market remains the United States, which imported US $ 134.2 million in the period analyzed.
The Victoria Stone Fair | Marmomac Latin America 2020 is already scheduled and will be held between February 11 and 14, 2020. The event is a Milanez & amp; Milaneze, a Veronafiere Group company, with the promotion of the State Ornamental Stone, Lime and Limestone Industries Union (Sindirochas) and the Marble and Granite Technology Center (Cetemag) and support from Abirochas.