Leadership is lost in the US market. China, which was 2.5 times back of Turkey in 2014, has closed the gap in 4 years and now has the lead. While China sells a ton of processed marble for $1577,7 to the USA, the amount of Turkey’s income has been recorded as $509,9 per ton.
It was actually quite clear. In 2018, Turkish natural stone industry had made a problematic start in the US market in which it had maintained its leadership for many years. The statistics brought up to the agenda by Marble Trend were clear. The figures of the first 8 month period revealed that China was taking over the leading position in the US market and Turkey was regressing to the second position. The figures didn’t change by the end of the year, either. 2018 was recorded as the year in which the leadership was taken over in the US market.
Income of 2018 is $203.8 million
In exchange for 402.947 tons of natural stone exported to the USA, Turkey earned $203,866,168 in the year 2018. A $7.2 million dollar loss in the US market, in which Turkey had earned an income of $211 million in 2017, was a loss. But the real loss was the “epaulet of leadership.” Because China became the country having the biggest slice out of the US market by earning $244,122,368 in 2018. China had earned a total amount of $202.6 million from the US in 2017.
Turkey used to earn 2.5 times more
When you examine the big picture, this situation is nothing unexpected. Because steps China took to take over the leadership of Turkey had started to yield results after 2014. Turkey’s income from the US market in 2014 was recorded as $293.2 million, whereas China’s income was $139.2 million. In other words, there was an income gap of 250%. The regression started in Turkey’s income from the year 2015 onwards, has changed everything in 4 years.
We are at the bottom in income per ton
Rather than the loss of leadership, the figures of income per ton are more worrisome. While China makes $1577.7 for each ton of natural stone it sells to the USA, Turkey earns only $505.9! Italy, which is very well aware of its stone, has the lead in income per ton from the USA making $2732.1. Greece’s income was recorded as $2225, Germany’s $1342, and India’s $1234.
Interest in marble diminishes in the US
When we see the whole picture, the fact that the interest in marble and travertine is diminishing in the US, is revealed to us. The world giant, which exported 1.2 million tons of marble and travertine in 2015, made do with an export of 848 thousand tons in 2018. However, the amount of money spent for natural stone export increased from $741.9 million to $802.3 million in 2017. The USA’s granite export, which had surpassed the barrage of $1.9 million in 2014, was recorded as $1.3 million in 2018.
All eyes on the US-China conflict
The first question that comes to mind after the leadership in the US market was taken over is: Will Turkish natural stone industry be able to retake its throne? This reminds us of the trade wars between the US and China. Mevlüt Kaya, who is the president of Aegean Mineral Exporters’ Association, underlined the extra taxes issued by the US on the products exported from China and said, “The trade war between the US and China is an advantage for Turkey. The incompatibilities in terms of taxes and other issues between the two countries are in favour of us. 2019 will be better than 2018. This is a fact shown by the statistics we have.”