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The European Market of Italian marble Part 2

Updated:2013-01-04 15:54:02
There are some contradictions in the Middle East and Far East: in the former there is an increase in the average export value (high quality) but not in volume which confirms the general trend while in the Far East there is a significant increase in the quantity of Italian marble imported, both finished products and, mostly, raw materials and semi-finished products.
North America requires a separate consideration since building and renovation work have been on the decline for some time now and this has consequently affected the stone industry too. The US real estate market has also been stagnant for some time too and is now encumbered by the long electoral campaign which has just begun; over the last few months there has been a further slowdown in the building industry and the experts maintain that the market will continue to be unstable or even decline further up until the presidential elections. Exports on the US market in the first nine months of 2007 are clearly negative, with the only exception of finished marble products.
The strength of the Euro does not help to sustain Italy's competitiveness with new countries, despite the fact that Italy has been following new strategies to "dominate" the US market for some time now. Moreover the statistics shown in our tables are taken from customs figures and cannot take into consideration supplies based on work carried out abroad to integrate work carried out directly in Italy. Exports to the US market have increased in terms of the average unit value not only thanks to the strength of the Euro but also thanks to the quality of products made in Italy.
Imports follow market requirements, again with the help of the strength of the Euro, with 2.476.756 tons imported (+6, 53%) for a value of 469.717.612 Euro. The volume of imports is growing more than their value with the only exception of finished marble products which however is not a very significant figure in the overall picture. The Far East is the most significant area for Italian imports, with countries such as India and China holding a strong and increasingly important role.
The Apuo-Versilian area
In this context, compared to 2006 the Apuo-Versilian area has recorded a good increase in quantity with 782.093 tons exported (+12%) for a value of 388.282.744 Euro (+6, 7%), mostly for marble, including both raw materials and finished products. The average unit value for products exported is increasing too for almost all items and almost all markets. Worthy of note is the fact that for Tuscany the European market is not as important as it is for Veneto; Africa, the Middle East and the Far East are more encouraging markets.
In North America too, where the results are showing decreases for all stone products, marble from the Tuscan area is experiencing a positive trend, particularly finished marble products and both in volume and absolute value as well as average unit value. Hence for the Tuscan area what was said for the national stone industry is even more valid: marble is confirmed as a highly competitive material on all levels: from squared blocks to finished and unfinished slabs to high quality finished products. Only the Chinese market prefers raw materials and semi-finished products to finished products but the quality of the locally finished products imported by Italy's partner countries is increasing despite the strength of the Euro. Exports of finished granite products is on the other hand decreasing significantly recording 117.076 tons (-9, 78%) for a value of over 114 million Euro with a 7% reduction compared to the same period in 2006.
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