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DIMENSION STONE ADVOCATE NEWS

Outlook Reexamined 2009 Issue No. 33 March 2010

The latest statistics are now updated on the Basics/Mines blog.

Statistical Parameters: (a) Sales related-demand.  The Overall Production-Demand Index based on 100 for 1997 was 312 for 2005, 355 for 2006, 365 for 2007, 328 for 2008, and 219 for 2009 (semifinal).  The Granite Countertop Demand Index based on 100 in 1997 was 867 in 2005, 1081 in 2006, 1066 in 2007, 948 in 2008, and 606 in 2009 (semifinal).  The Demand Index for Granite and Marble Tile based on 100 in 1997 was 336 in 2005, 414 in 2006, 473 in 2007, 429 in 2008, and 283 in 2009 (semifinal).

(b) Sales related-price.  Granite Countertop Prices (index) was 100 in 2006, 94 in First Half 2007, 141 in Second Half 2007, 126 in First Half 2008, 146 in Second Half 2008, and 134 in First Half 2009.  Marble Tile Prices (index) was 100 in 2006, 105 in First Half 2007, 110 in Second Half 2007, 125 in First Half 2008, 121 in Second Half 2008, and 116 in First Half 2009.  Granite Tile Prices (index) was 100 in 2006, 48 in First Half 2007, 44 in Second Half 2007, and 94 in First Half 2008.

WORLD DEMAND/DOMANDA MONDIALE STATISTIC(s) Index numbers/Numeri indici 2000=100
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
GRANITE/GRANITO
Median
161
194
222
246
234
Average
161
190
227
247
249
MARBLE/MARMO
Median
237
293
338
401
385
Average
144
166
200
248
272

A useful measure of the world demand for granite and marble (shown above) is the total finished granite or marble exported by some major exporting countries--Brazil, Italy, Spain, and China--for finished granite and Turkey, Italy, Spain, and China for finished marble.  This measure shows the growth in demand since 2000 (2000 is the base year, 2000=100).  Using an interest table to obtain an average annual increase, world granite demand has risen about 14% each year for the period 2000-2007, and world marble demand has risen about 13.7% each year in the same period.

New readers of DSAN should also check the cover for “Early-Bird”, “Pulsetaking”, and “Late-Bird” Outlooks, and the large body of information built up in the back issues, Issues 1 to 32.  See Issue 20 for data for earlier years.

The Building Green update:  A new section "Stone: life-cycle assessment and best practices" has been added to Wikipedia's "Dimension Stone" article.  It begins by describing the importance of life-cycle assessments, then talks about an ASTM guide to performing life-cycle assessments, focusing on data.  Finally it discusses the new Natural Stone Council data for life-cycle inventories (i.e. Global Warming Potential) and mentions four of its best practice studies.     

See Architect's Stone Selection Helper and its trove of stone photos for quick and convenient use by architects and others needing to quickly and conveniently examine many stones by color and appearance before selection of a few alternates.

Wikipedia's wiki "Dimension Stone" is the most easily-available and comprehensive reference existing on dimension stone, covering the major applications, production and demand, stone recycling and reuse, "building green" with dimension stone, sustainability of dimension stone, and stone cleaning and selection, plus linked wikis for "Countertop" and "Tile", and for the major stones.

Stone Business has issued its 2009 Buyer's Directory in July 2009; it features stone fabricators/installers and stone suppliers around the world.
    
The U.S. market conditions and outlook for 2009 reported by our observers, is as follows:

A Prominent Elberton Source (granite): Monumental granite sales in 2009 are up 2% from 2008.  Curbing granite sales in 2009 are level with 2008.  Granite countertop sales in 2009 are down 20%-25% from 2008.  Formerly there were twelve countertop-producing firms but now they have dropped to only three; the departing firms have mostly shifted to monuments.

A Prominent Indiana Limestone Source: Overall 2009 Indiana limestone sales are flat to down 2% from 2008.

An Indiana Limestone Producer: Limestone sales in 2009 are down 20%-25% from 2008; 2008 were down 20% from 2007.  However, other Indiana limestone firms have 2009 sales down 15% from 2008.  Indiana limestone firms are doing more renovations and are getting smaller jobs.

A Midwest Granite Producer: Building granite sales in 2009 are down 5%-7% from 2008.  Granite countertop sales in 2009 are down 30% from 2008.  Monumental sales in 2009 are down 25% from 2008 in dollars; volume is about the same.  Residential stone sales in 2009 are down 15%-20% from 2008.  Granite rough block export sales in 2009 are up 30% from 2008.  Stone-using projects are proceeding more slowly; many of these are public sector projects.

A Midwest Granite Producer: Granite countertop sales in 2009 are down 5%-10% from 2008.  Monumental granite sales in 2009 are down 11% from 2008.  Granite rough block sales in 2009 are down 10% from 2008.  Cut-to-size sales (including mausoleums and civic memorials) in 2009 are up 8% from 2008.  Customers have been drawing down inventories and not ordering, but have been hanging in there (minimal writeoffs).

An East Coast Granite Producer:  Sales of cut-to-size and architectural granite in 2009 are up 3%-5% from 2008.  Granite curbing sales in 2009 are down 20% from 2008.  Export block sales in 2009 are level with 2008.  Sales backlog is at an all-time high, but less requests for quotes are coming in.
  
An East Coast Slate Source: Sales of slate products in 2009 are level with 2008; 2010 sales may be level with 2009.  The residential market is very very weak, but the school and institutional markets are close to their normal condition.

A Sandstone Producer: Building stone (windows, ashlar, capstones) sales in 2009 are down 10% from 2008.  High-end and custom building stone sales in 2009 are down 5% from 2008.  Flagstone sales in 2009 are down 15% from 2008.  Residential (general) stone sales in 2009 are down 10% from 2008.  The projects coming in are generally small; the large ones seem to be holding back. 

An Importer of Marble and Granite: Overall sales in 2009 are down 33% from 2008.  Slab (for countertops) sales in 2009 are down 33% from 2008.  Stone tile sales are also down 33% from 2008.  Residential stone sales in 2009 are down 30%-35% from 2008.  This economic catastrophy is different from past recessions when most sectors of their business were down while some were still okay; this time they are all down.

Statistics for the first three quarters of 2009 show that demand for dimension stone in general bottomed in 1Q 2009.  The major statistical components for granite show a bottom in 1Q 2009 (an all-time one counting quarters of 2008 and 2007), the 2Q was up 18% from 1Q, and 3Q was up 20% from 2Q but still not near any quarter of 2008 or 2007,  The major statistical components for marble also show a bottom in 1Q 2009 (an all-time one counting quarters of 2008 and 2007), the 2Q was up only 2% from 1Q, and 3Q 2009 was up 7.5% from 2Q.  For granite countertops, 1Q 2009 was the bottom YTD, 2Q was up 18% from 1Q, and 3Q was up 19% from 2Q.

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