The never-ending recession!


The decrease, which was recorded as 6.8% in 2018, does not halt! The Turkish natural stone industry concludes the first eight months of 2019 with a loss of 5%. Having exported a total of 4.609.826 tons of natural stone in the January-August 2019 period, Turkey earned an income of $1,202,387.

Calculations, dreams, and goals. The momentum caught by the Turkish natural stone industry in 2017, the increase by 13.4% seen in export figures and the surpassing of the $2 billion barrier, had brought about very different figures. As Marble Trend, we had declared 2017 as “The Year of Rebirth” and let you now that the sectoral authorities had set the goal of $2.5 billion in export. However, the recession started in May 2018 caused an unexpected situation. The income loss of 6.8% by the end of 2018 did not stop in the first half of 2019.

The second-lowest amount of the last eight years

Compared to the same period of 2018, the Turkish natural stone sector suffered an income loss of 5.1% in the January-August period. Having exported 4.609.826 tons of natural stone, Turkey earned $1,202,387. We should underline that the amount of natural stone exported decreased by 6% compared to 2018. We have another statistic. When we examine the figures of the first eight-month periods of the last eight years, we see that this export income of  $1,202,387 is the lowest amount achieved after the year 2016.

China is the primary reason

Let us analyze the decrease in export. Of course, at this point, the first thing to consider is the problematic Chinese market. The recession in China, the Turkish natural stone industry’s most prominent client, goes on without easing down. The amount of income earned by Turkey from China in the first eight months of 2019 decreased by 13% compared to the same period of the previous year. The Turkish natural stone industry earned $454,737,000 from China to which it exported 2.215.570tons of natural stone. A more detailed analysis of the Chinese market can be found in the following pages of our magazine.

The decrease in block export is 10.8%

We continue with the figures of the block market after China. 13% income loss in China, the biggest block buyer of the world, obviously hits the overall block market. In the first eight-month period of 2019, Turkey’s block marble and travertine export suffered an income loss of 10.8%. In exchange for a block sale of 2.878.000 tons, we earned $558,057,000 according to the records.  In other words, the main reason for the decrease in the natural stone export of Turkey is the loss in the block market.

India continues expanding

The second most important player in the block market is India. Some had considered India as the “second China” after the removal of the import quota two years ago. However, India is a different market. It seems unlikely that it will reach the same level as China, but the fact that our income from this country increases stably is a point we should underline. The amount of income earned from India in the first eight-month period of 2019 increased by 9.5%. In exchange for a natural stone export of 298.900 tons, the Turkish natural sector earned $57,982,640.

Sales increase by 7%, income makes no headway!

The problematic block market renders the processed marble market more critical. However, neither the processed marble market makes headway. Such that the difference between the first eight-month periods of 2018 and 2019 is only $22,000! Turkey had earned $455,113,000 in exchange for a natural stone export of 1.068.000 tons. In the same period of 2019, the industry earned $455,135,961 for a processed marble export of 1.146.000 tons. In other words, while the amount of marble we sell increases by 7.26%, the income we earn remains the same!

The loss in the USA is 6.5%

Let us go on with the USA, the largest market of processed marble. The Turkish natural stone industry suffered an income decrease of 6.56% in the American market during the first eight months of 2019. In exchange for a natural stone export of 423.504 tons to the USA, Turkey earned $184,144,704. However, there is an important detail to consider here. We should underline that our income decreased despite the increase of 4.6% in the amount of processed marble we export to the USA.

Arabia is on the move

Then, what is the reason why our income from the processed marble market remains at least the same despite the recession in the American market? The Arab market is the answer to this question. We can state that especially the growth by 15.5% in the Saudi Arabia market is an important gain in this problematic period. Earning an income of $76,386,108 in the first eight months of 2019, the Turkish natural stone industry actualized a growth by 10.9% in the Israel market.

Pay attention to France and Italy

We should pay attention to two European countries while examining the export figures. First, France. The momentum in the French market, which has been growing since 2016 step by step, continues. Having ranked as the 8th country to which Turkey exported natural stone the most in 2017, France climbed up to the 5th position, leaving behind Israel, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates. Also, our income from block export to Italy continues to rise. In the first eight months of 2019, our income from block export to Italy increased by 24.7%.

The goals of 2023 are far away

Now, let us take a look at the grand scheme of things. There is a turnout before Turkey. We will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish Republic. As you know, some serious goals were set for the 100th anniversary. Both the government and sectoral foundations had set the goal of  $15 billion as our income from the mining sector. $6 billion of this amount was estimated to be met by natural stone export. However, we have to admit that the 2023 goals are beyond the natural stone sector’s reach. We shall see how close we will get to the goal of $6 billion.