Tiles

2019 U.S. Ceramic Tile Market Update

23/03/2020

In 2019, U.S. ceramic tile consumption declined for the first time in a decade to 273.2 million sq.m. (-5,4% on 2018). This affected both the domestic production (83 million sq,m, -4.8%) and imports (193 million sq.m, -5.5%), with China dropping by 36.4%.

Andrew Whitmire, Tile Council of North America ([email protected])

Although the U.S. had strong overall economic growth last year (GDP was up a healthy 2.3%), the American ceramic tile market did not follow suit and declined for the first time in a decade.

U.S. ceramic tile consumption in 2019 was 273.2 million sq.m. (2.9 billion sq. ft.), down 5.4% from the previous year.

U.S Ceramic tile production decreased to 83 million sq.m (-4.8% on 2018), of which 80.3 million sq.m. (863.6 million sq. ft.) of domestic shipments (-5.2%), the lowest level since 2015 but still representing 29.4% of total U.S. tile consumption (by volume). In dollar value 2019 U.S. FOB factory sales of domestic shipments were $1.33 billion (-4% on 2018), which means 37.6% of 2019 total U.S. tile consumption by dollar value. The per unit value of domestic shipments increased from $1.53/sq. ft. ($16.43/m2) in 2018 to $1.55/sq. ft. ($16.63) in 2019.

U.S. ceramic tile exports (3 million sq.m or 31.8 million sq. ft., +6.8% on 2018) were mainly destinated to Canada (70.7%) and Mexico (11.0%), generating revenues of $35.7 million.

In 2019 U.S. ceramic tile imports decreased by 5.5% to 193.0 million sq.m. (2.08 billion sq. ft.) keeping a share of 70.6% of total U.S. tile consumption by volume.

Although China remained the largest exporter of ceramic tile to the U.S. by volume, its exports to the U.S. fell dramatically, dropping from 64,3 million sq.m. in 2018 to 40.9 million sq.m in 2019 (-36.4%). This was due primarily to the effects of a trade remedy case filed by a coalition of several U.S. manufacturers, which petitioned the federal government to remedy unfairly dumped and subsidized ceramic tile imports from China. Imports from China made up 21.2% of total U.S. tile imports by volume in 2019, down from 31.5% in 2018, and represented China’s lowest share of U.S. imports since 2008.

As for the other main exporting countries to the U.S., Mexico confirmed the downward trend, with its exports declining to 33.4 million sq,m (-5% on 2018); imports from Mexico comprised 17.3% of total U.S. imports, unchanged from 2018. Spain surpassed Italy as the third largest exporter of tile to the U.S.: according to the U.S. Dept of Commerce, imports from Spain grew by 13% to 32.5 million sq.m., making up 16.9% of U.S. imports by volume. Italy followed with 30 million sq.m. (-8% on 2018). The next largest exporters to the U.S. registered strong double-digit growth and were Brazil (18.9 million sq.m. +27.4%), Turkey (16.6 million sq.m., 39.1%), and India, whose exports rocketed in just one year, from 1.6 to 6.3 million sq.m (+296.4%). In 2019, the total value of ceramic tile imports declined by 3.7% to US$ 2,213 million. On a dollar basis (CIF + duty) Italy remained the largest exporter to the U.S. in 2019, comprising 29.6% of U.S. imports. Once again, Italian tiles confirmed the highest average price of $21.33/sq.m, with an increase of 0.5% on 2018.

Read the full article with charts and tables on CWR 135/2020

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