dimension stone



Harold A Taylor, Jr





Architect's Stone Selection Helper

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Marble Institute of America


Detailed Outlook 2010 Issue No. 34 July 2010

The latest statistics are now updated on the Basics/Mines blog, as is a brief summary of the observer's report.  The DSAN is a somewhat longer report for the record.

This outlook is based on structured, in-depth conversations with well-placed industry observers, some preliminary statistics (even a few for 2010), and the professional judgment of Harold A. Taylor, the Publisher/Editor.

General 2009-10 Outlook:  The Overall Production-Demand Index showed that overall 2009 U.S. dimension stone sales were down 29% from 2008; 2010 shows signs of a little recovery at up 6%.  Analysis of the major statistical components of the 2Q 2010 dimension stone demand indexes should be available in about a month; it is likely to show a little recovery in granite and none in marble.  Residential real estate prices have shown little upward motion nationally.

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 33.  See Issue 20 for data for earlier years.

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.

Outlook for granite memorials and monuments: This includes mausoleums and other stone funeral products.  Sales of domestic monumental granite in 2010 is likely to be down 5% from 2009 and 2009 was down 3% from 2008.  Dollar value of sales were often down more than that, as were sales of high-end items.

Outlook for granite countertops:  The 2010 outlook by the DSAN observers for granite kitchen countertops is for sales likely to be level with 2009.

Outlook for dimension stone tile: This includes mostly granite and marble, almost all imported but some domestic, and of various sizes and thicknesses.  The observers indicate that 2010 sales are more likely to be up a few percent from 2009.

Outlook for Indiana limestone: This is the major U.S. limestone and is made into products including cut-to-size panels or veneer, lintels, sills, stair treads, ashlar, and cubic stock.  Sales in 2010 are likely to be level, but ranging widely from up 5% to down 10%.  The whole area is having hard times, OSHA and EPA are big problems, and lots of used unneeded equipment is for sale.
Outlook for worked slate (including roofing slate): Sales of domestic slate in 2010 are likely to be up 5% from 2009.  Sales of domestic slate in 2009 were level with 2008.

Outlook for other dimension stone: This would include sandstone, bluestone, and flagstone (misc.).  Sales in 2010 are likely to be down 10% from 2009.  Sales in 2009 were also down 10% from 2008.

Building Green Update for Dimension Stone: The Marble Institute of America has added a judging criteria for sustainable design elements to the former criteria of beauty, creativity, and craftsmanship for its Pinnacle Awards competition.  Vermont Quarries is the first quarry to have its complete line of marbles certified by the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute, for indoor air quality and for marble surfaces for children's use and schools; the GREENGUARD stickers recognized around the world will now go on its products.
Current Statistical Parameters: Sales related-demand.  The Overall Dimension Stone Production-Demand Index based on 100 for 1997, was 360 for 2006, 372 for 2007, 332 for 2008, 235 for 2009, and 250 for 2010 (preliminary).

The Demand Index for Granite Countertops based on 100 for 1997, was 1066 in 2007, 948 in 2008, 625 in 2009, and 775 in 2010 (preliminary).  The Demand Index for Granite and Marble Tile based on 100 for 1997, was 473 in 2007, 429 in 2008, and 286 in 2009 (final).

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