Ceramic glaze and colour producers: the figures for 2018
Ceramicolor reports a continued positive performance on the part of the sector in 2018, driven by technological development despite sharp rises in raw materials costs.
Following exceptional results in 2017, the Italian ceramic glaze and colour producers continued to perform strongly in 2018.
According to estimates made by the Italian national trade association Federchimica Ceramicolor, sales revenues in the Italian market grew by around 2.7% compared to 2017, with particularly strong growth in the ceramic ink segment. In Italy, demand is still being driven by incentives and the so-called “super-amortisation” tax concessions, which have fuelled investments by the country’s ceramic industry and pushed up demand for glazes and colours, particularly in the first half of the year.
Export sales grew by around 2% in European markets but fell by more than 2% in the United States, while the Chinese market appears to be struggling amidst a double-digit contraction. This contrasts with the strong growth in exports to other Asian countries such as Vietnam, India and Malaysia. Excluding China, the Asian market grew by more than 5%, again driven by demand for ceramic inks.
As in the previous year, in 2018 the Italian ceramic glaze and colour producers had to contend with a sharp rise in raw materials costs, which are often difficult to recoup downstream, as well as procurement difficulties.
As for new production trends, the decoration stage has been revolutionised by the steady growth in sizes of ceramic surfaces, which are now able to compete directly with natural marble and granite slabs.
“Today’s designers and architects value ceramic surfaces for their aesthetic and technical qualities, and this use of large slabs in architectural projects produces outstanding results,” said Claudio Casolari, Chairman of Ceramicolor. “This will certainly encourage the development of new colours and new application systems suitable for the increasingly complex processes of decorating ceramic slabs.”