Statistics and markets

US tile imports fell sharply in the first quarter


With China’s exit from the market, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Brazil and the newcomers saw increases in sales

The figures for ceramic tile imports into the United States in the first quarter of this year confirm China’s comprehensive exit from the market (-98% in both volume and value compared to the first quarter of 2019) following the introduction of countervailing and anti-dumping duties. Overall, tile imports into the USA in the first quarter of 2020 fell sharply to 39 million sqm, about 7 million sqm less than the 46 million sqm of the first quarter of 2019 (-14.9%).

But who were the losers in terms of market share (apart from China which lost no less than 11 million sqm!) and who were the winners?

Mexico continued to struggle, experiencing a 1.8 million square metre drop (-19.6%) in exports to the USA by volume but a smaller decline in terms of value (-6.9%). Peru also saw a contraction (-39% in volume and -37.5% in value).

All other exporters to the US market saw increases in sales, particularly Spain and Italy. Spain’s exports remained virtually unchanged in terms of volumes but increased in value by 5%, whereas Italy posted a good +4.8% in terms of exported volumes and +2.7% in value.

However, US importers have looked to other countries to make up for the loss of the longstanding Chinese suppliers. Imports from Turkey almost doubled to 5.3 million sqm and imports from Brazil grew by 20%, while several newcomers also established themselves. India in particular quadrupled its sales and Vietnam and Malaysia entered the rankings for the first time, mainly in the low-price market segment.