Just recently, Michael Reis, Stone World Editor/Associate Publisher, wrote a column about the state of the U.S. stone industry. From 2007 – 2009, the industry saw significant dips and losses. In 2009, stone imports into the U.S. dropped down to $1.404 billion (less than half of what they were in 2006).
However, since then, the stone industry has been making its way back and we saw much improvement in 2010 and 2011. Reis listed out some of the highlights of the last couple years:
- The U.S. imported $1.634 billion worth of stone in 2011, a little more than 5% more than 2010’s total and almost 17% more than the 2009‘s low point of $1.404 billion.
- Granite imports rose to a total of $966.3 million in 2011, about 6.8% over 2010 and 33.5% greater than $723.63 in 2009. In addition, granite-producing nations, such as Brazil and India, saw solid growth in their exports to the U.S. in 2011, while China actually saw a slight decline.
- Last year’s total marble imports value of $564 million was 3.9% more than the previous year.
- Imports of other materials such as sandstone, dolomite, porphyry and not otherwise specified saw little change, declining 2% to a total of $40.77 million.
While these statistics are comforting, the question is how much and how quickly a “full” recovery will come, Reis said.