World ceramic tile production tops 13 billion sq.m
The 5th annual report entitled “World ceramic tile production and consumption” produced by the Acimac Research Department and presented in this issue provides an overview of the global tile industry and market, which have resumed growth following a year of tagnation and sub-percentage-point variations. In 2016, world ceramic tile production grew by almost 6% to pass the 13 billion sq.m mark, buoyed in particular by the recovery in Asia (+8%) and the more rapid pace of growth in production in the European Union (+7%) nd North America (+8.5%), matched by almost identical increases in demand in the same regions. The growth in Asia is attributable above all to the twin giants of “Chindia”: China in response to the upturn in domestic demand (exports are continuing to fall) and India riven by strong growth in exports to the Middle East (up by no less than 39%!), in some cases replacing Chinese products (for example in Saudi Arabia). Global import-export flows remained lacklustre for the third year running, growing by just 48 million sq.m to 2,794 million sq.m +1.7%). Furthermore, this growth was entirely attributable to the strong performance of the European Union – in other words Italy and Spain – which exported a world-leading 80% of its entire output and alone accounted for one quarter of total world exports. In sharp ontrast with the contraction in South America and North Africa, the growth in production in Europe, India and the NAFTA region is reflected in the figures for the world’s top 25 ceramic tile groups scattered across four continents, which are extremely heterogeneous in erms of product types and value of production, level of internationalisation and market penetration. In 2016 the top 25 groups manufactured a total of approximately 1,750 million sq.m (13% of world production) and more than half of them reported growth in output olumes. Standouts include the results of Mohawk Industries in the USA, Lamosa and Vitromex in Mexico, Pamesa and STN in Spain, Kajaria in India and Arwana Citramulia in Indonesia. The strong performance of the Italian industry is confirmed above all by the increase in value of production, as demonstrated by the results of the top 30 companies which almost all posted revenue growth in 2016, more than ten of them in double digits.