Spain: the 2019 turnover of the ceramic tile industry grew despite fall in production

The Spanish ceramic tile industry recorded a 4% growth in turnover in 2019 to 3,740 million euros, thanks to the strong performances both on the domestic market (+8) and on the exports markets (+3%). Production fell to 503 million sq.m (-5%)

The Spanish ceramic tile industry recorded a positive 2019 in terms of turnover, which grew by 4% compared to 2018 to reach 3,740 million euros. This included a strong performance in terms of both exports and domestic sales, which continued their upward trend and closed out the year at around 940 million euros (+8%). By contrast, the country’s total production fell by an estimated 5% to 503 million square metres amid efforts by producers to improve stock management.

As regards sales, 75% of total revenues were generated by exports to 188 countries, amounting to an estimated value of 2,800 million euros (up 3% on 2018). This marks a new record for the Spanish industry and confirms the country’s position as the largest European exporter of tiles in volume and the second largest in the world. This was achieved in spite of the increase in the number of trade barriers put in place, which make it harder to operate in certain foreign markets.

In the period January-November 2019, Europe confirmed its position as the largest market for Spanish tiles, accounting for 50.1% of total exports and recording a 5% rise in sales. The continent is home to four of the five largest foreign markets: France, where sales grew by 7.9% to 302.2 million euros; the United Kingdom, which also performed strongly (169.1 million euros, +6.7%) but saw an initial decline in November; Italy (104.2 million euros, +3.2%); and Germany, the only European market to have seen a contraction (95.7 million euros, -2.3%) as a result of the slowdown of the German economy as a whole.

The United States remained the second largest export market for Spanish tiles with sales of 278.8 million euros in the first 11 months of the year, a further increase of 16.9%. Results in other markets were significantly weaker. Sales in the Middle East fell by 12.6%, mainly due to the downturn in key markets such as Saudi Arabia (-15%), which has been stagnant since September due to the introduction of new requirements such as product quality certification, and Israel (-7.7%).

Spain also saw a fall in exports to Latin America (67.4 million euros, -4.5%) and to the Russian Federation (66.3 million euros, -4.2%), in line with an overall 2.2% contraction in Eastern Europe. Conversely, sales in Africa grew by 4% overall despite the slowdown in the Maghreb region and the falls in some countries in the area, including Algeria.

Read the complete article published in CWR 135/2020

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