XXII World Stone Report presented
Quarrying and processing up in 2010. China confirms status as main world producer. Italy gets going again despite problems and concerns
Marmomacc was the occasion for presentation to advertisers of the XXII World Stone Industry Report, once again prepared by Carlo Montani, one of the leading international experts in the sector, published by Aldus Casa di Edizioni with the patronage of Confindustria Marmomacchine. Numerous innovations in this edition: in short, the traditional and detailed tables of statistical documentation introduced by the traditional analysis of the world market are now joined by analysis of the main countries in the stone industry over the period of time from 1994 to 2010. The book also includes an insert by Massimo Marcesini discussing the Apuan stone district to indicate possible future scenarios. The intention is to dedicate similar research next year to the Veronese stone district.
The Report not only provides the main economic data for quarrying and processing natural stone and related machines and technologies but also analyses trends in the sector to provide a clear overview of the scenarios forming the background to this industrial sector.
Briefly, research shows that the world stone industry enjoyed a positive year overall in 2010: quarrying and processing increased by 6.7% in volume while trade grew by 18%, resuming the positive trend only halted in the two-year period 2008-2009 because of the international economic crisis. The lion’s share was naturally taken by Asia and especially China, which alone covers almost 30% of world production.
Unfortunately, summary data for 2010 in Italy, historically one of the main countries in the sector, was less bright: exports grew by 10.9% but only partly recovered the collapse seen in previous years, driven especially by unfinished materials, while growth for processed materials was no more than 4%
On the other hand, exports of machinery for marble and stones were excellent, with business worth around 613 million Euros, positing a strong recovery (+56%) compared to the very poor two previous years.
The panorama of Italian technology is completed by tools, especially special diamond tools and abrasives, where turnover came to 200 million Euros.
Montani suggests that one can reasonably assume that the future trend in the stone sector, having overcome the difficult two-year period 2008-2009, will maintain constant growth in the long-term similar to that seen in the years prior to the recession. In this regard, the sector proved to be one of the most reactive and capable of sustaining recovery in an overall economic background still experiencing difficulties.