It was a year ago. Everybody was shocked by the pandemic, our export to China almost stopped and the natural stone sector was facing a nightmare-like period especially between March and April. But for better or for worse, life is full of surprises. From June 2020 onwards, the wheels started turning again and the Turkish natural stone industry concluded 2020 with an acceptable loss of 6.8%. However, the signs for 2021 were quite promising.
You know how they say. The darker the night, the brighter the stars. It is exactly our case. Starting 2021 with positive signs, the sector achieved a nice momentum in the first five months. Let us start with the overall numbers. Turkey realized a total of 3.065.918 tons of natural stone export in the January-May period of 2021. The amount of natural stone sold increased by 44.6% and Turkey earned $804,94 million. The income received by the Turkish natural stone sector increased by 35.2% compared to the first five months of 2020.
When it comes to natural stone and export, our first stop is obviously China. In this crucial market, where we’ve been having problems since the second quarter of 2018, we seem to have achieved good momentum. In the first five months of 2021, Turkey realized a total of 1.330.479 tons of natural stone export, earning $265,18. The total income increased by 50.4% compared to the last year and the amount of product exported increased by 52.9%.
Let’s continue with India, the second most important stop of the block market which had received a severe impact from the pandemic. India concluded 2020 with a recession of 33%. It was the fourth biggest customer of Turkish stones but had fallen to the seventh place in rank. However, finally in 2021 things are going well. In the first five months of 2021, India imported 115.103 tons of blocks from Turkey in exchange for $27,4 million. In this critical market, Turkey achieved an income increase of $126,000, and the amount of stones sold increased by 153.2%.
Back in 2020, the worst problem was faced in block sales. The momentum in the Chinese and Indian markets was reflected in the overall statistics of the block market. Block exporters, who had concluded 2020 with an income loss of 23.2%, went like a bomb in 2021, so to say. The total income out of Turkey’s block sales increased by 53.1% compared to the statistics of the first five months of the last year. In exchange for 1,705,428 tons of block sale, the Turkish natural stone industry earned $318,78 million.
Now let’s get to the processed product market. The good news is that a considerable increase trend is present also in the processed product market. In the first five months of 2021, Turkey realized a total of 776.947 tons of processed marble and in exchange, earned $304,3 million. The growth in the processed marble market was 15.9%, whereas the processed travertine market had a better momentum. In this market where an income loss of 49.3% was noticed, in exchange for 391.792 tons of travertine exported, Turkey earned $140,9 million.
When one talks about processed marble and travertine, eyes naturally turn to the United States. Things seem to be okay in the US market in 2021. In the first five months of 2021, Turkey exported 405.477 tons of processed marble. In exchange for this sale, it earned $175,18 million. The income received in this period increased by 63.8% compared to the same period of the last year and the growth in the amount of product exported was recorded as 61%.
We should also mention two markets whose value has been increasing for Turkey recently. The first one is the EU market. France and Germany act as locomotive markets in the region. The 72%-growth and $42.8 million income indicate that by the end of 2021, our export to this country will have surpassed $100 million. Just like France, also in Germany, a growth of 77.4% is noticed. The second stop attracting our attention is Iraq and Israel. Turkey’s income from Iraq and Israel increased by 28% and 83%, relatively. However, the overall figures from the Near and the Far East are reflecting an income loss of 16% due to the situation in Saudi Arabia.