World sanitaryware imports and exports (2022)

Acimac Research Dept. / MECS updates the yearly analysis of the world ceramic sanitaryware imports/exports flows. After the very strong recovery in 2021, 2022 global sanitaryware exports experienced a 5.6% decline, a downturn observed in all geographical areas of production.

World ceramic sanitaryware import/export flows grew by 71.3% from 2.16 million to 3.7 million tonnes over the period 2010-2022, corresponding to a compound annual growth rate of 4.6%. However, the positive trend that continued for almost the entire period (with the exception of 2020, due to the pandemic) was interrupted again in 2022 with a 5.6% decline in exports compared to 2021. This negative trend was observed in practically all geographical areas of production and in the major exporting countries.

Asia remained the largest world sanitaryware exporter, increasing its share of world exports to 66% despite a 3.5% fall to 2.44 million tonnes in 2022. This was a combined result of contractions in almost all the major Asian exporting countries, namely China, India, Thailand and Vietnam, with the only positive exception being Iran.

European Union, the world’s second largest exporter, also fell by 3.7% to 520,000 tonnes. The three largest exporting countries alone accounted for half of EU exports, but followed different trajectories, with Poland and Portugal maintaining their 2021 levels, while Germany’s exports declined by 4.6%. Exports from North America (NAFTA) suffered a more severe, double-digit decline, down to 328,000 tonnes (down 13.5% on 2021), largely attributable to the -10% drop in Mexico. Exports from non-EU European countries recorded a similar contraction (-13.1% to 253,000 tonnes), with Turkey down 8.3% (187,000 tonnes). Next, again with a downward trend, came South America (84,000 tonnes, -15.4%) and Africa (73,000 tonnes, -7%).

The 2022 ranking of the top 10 exporter countries changed very little in terms of positions, with Poland rising from 6th to 5th place and Iran from 10th to 9th, switching positions with Thailand and Vietnam respectively.

China remained at the top of the ranking with exports of 1.92 million tonnes (down 2.6% on 2021), alone accounting for 78% of Asian and 52% of world exports.

Mexico, the second largest exporter country with an 8% share of global exports, suffered a 10.2% fall in its exports to 295,000 tonnes. Following very strong growth in 2021, India also experienced a decline, with export volumes falling from 264,000 tonnes to 251,000 tonnes last year (-4.9%). Next came Turkey with 187,000 tonnes (-8.3%), Poland (91,000 tonnes, +0.2%), then Thailand, Germany, Portugal, Iran and Vietnam. Overall, the 10 largest sanitaryware exporter countries accounted for 84% of global exports.

Read the complete article published in Ceramic World Review 154/2023

Photo courtesy of Villeroy & Boch

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