After a nightmarish 2018, Turkish natural stone sector ended the first 5 month period of 2019 with an income loss of 3.45%. The amount of the income earned by the sector was recorded as $752,709,896 after a natural stone export of 2.877.934 in 5 months.
2018 was recorded as a year to be immediately forgotten for Turkish natural stone sector. Suffering an income loss by 6.8% compared to 2017, the sector finished 2018 making $1.9 billion. However, the figures of the first five months of 2019 reveal that the storm is still going on. In January – May period, the income of Turkey, which exported 2.877.934 tons of natural stone, has decreased to $752,709,896, decreasing by 3.45% when compared to the previous year. The amount of natural stone exported decreased by 4.34%.
Regression in China: 12.52%
China is unboubtedly the most important country for Turkish natural stone sector’s export. This regression that we suffer in the Chinese market is still going on, despite the relative slowdown. In this vast market, in which we finished 2018 with a loss of 18.1%, the regression in the first five months of 2019 is 12.52%. In January – May period, the amount of income earned by Turkey was recorded as $273.544.832 after exporting 1.361.117 tons of natural stone to China. The amount of natural stone exported decreased by 14.91%.
Block market troubled
The situation in Chine reflects to the figures of block sale. Just like 2018, the block market is the main problem of Turkey. In the first five months of 2019, the amount of income the sector earned and blocks sold decreased by 9.94% and 12.45%, relatively. Exporting 1.758.475 tons of blocks, Turkish natural stone industry earned $335.76 million. Severe decreases of the block market in Taiwan (33.72%), Indonesia (63.12%), Vietnam (26%) drew attention.
Stability of India
India is the second biggest block buyer of Turkey. The increase in the Indian market, which has been growing consistently, is still going on. In the first five months of 2019, Turkey increased its income from India increased by 14.44%, increasing the amount of natural stone sold to the country by 16.67%. Between January and May, in Exchange for a natural stone export of 170.803 tons, Turkey earned $33,171,283.
America’s problem is travertine
Now let’s discuss the processed product market. We have strange statistics for the USA, Turkey’s biggest customer in the field. The big picture first. Turkey’s income from the country decreased to 1.64%, when compared to the first five months of 2018, and was recorded as $117,824,074. However, the amount of processed marble we exported increased by 7.97%. Where exactly is the problem? The main factor here is travertine which is losing its dominance to ceramics. Since a decrease by 19.21% in our processed travertine export to the USA draws attention.
The Middle East on the move
Let’s pass to the Middle East. A movement in Saudi Arabia, which has been stagnant recently, draws our attention. The amount of income we received from the country, to which we exported 44% more compared to the same period of 2018, increased by 37.44%. Turkish natural stone industry earned $55,405,511 from Saudi Arabia, in exchange for a natural stone export of 147.588 tons. Increases by 14.62% in Israel and 40% in Qatar cheered the sector a little.
A boom in Uzbekistan
The problematic situation in our main customer China makes alternative more important than ever. Uzbekistan played the leading role in the first five months of 2019. During the same period of the last year, the amount we earned from Uzbekistan was $76,585. Now in 2019, this amount boomed to $4,597,270. Growth rate was recorded as 5902%. Apart from Uzbekistan, an increase by 135% in Libia, 106% in Russia and 40% in Italy were also recorded.