U.S. imports of quartz-surface slabs this March made a substantial improvement from 2011, with volume outpacing total value by almost a 2:1 ratio.

quartz importsU.S. ports-of-entry accepted 1.2 million ft² of quartz slabs in March, a 36.4% increase from the previous March.

Spain led the march handily, shipping 549K ft² in March, up 69.2%. Israel came in second by almost half – 275K ft² – but that represented a 184.0% increase from March 2011.

Other larger exporters didn’t fare as well, as four of the 10-top countries supplying quartz slabs showed a decrease from last March, including Canada (111K ft², down 44.9%), China (79K ft², down 12.6%) and Italy (47K, down 17.6%). Some of the decline with Canada, however, may be reflective of panel production shifting to new U.S. operations.

Overall import value of quartz-slab arriving stateside in March totaled $12.9 million, up 19.6% from 2011. Spain again topped the list, with $5.5 million showing a 41.0% increase; Israel made a strong showing with $3.3 million, up 94.0%.

On the downside, Canada’s $1.3 million represented a 48.8% drop, and Italy took a 37.4% slide to $492K.

The big mover, meanwhile, is Vietnam, which continues to grow its U.S. market. While the totals aren’t at the top of the charts, the $201K in value and 23.3K ft² in March represented increases from the previous year of 396.5% and 527.8%, respectively.

StatWatch is a snapshot of U.S. dimensional-stone and hard-surfaces imports, offering a summary and exclusive Stone Update analysis of data from the U.S. International Trade Commission. Comparisons are made mainly to gauge market trends. Analysis is made on import figures of the latest month available.


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