Industry News

Vitoria(Brazil),29 May,2019- During the last few days a major strike by truckers in Brazil protesting against high gasoline prices has brought chaos to the country with movement of goods coming to a halt. It was  even feared that the Vitoria Stone fair, to be held soon in June, was going to be cancelled if the movement of stone etc.was not going to be possible. Finally it has been decided today that the fair will be held, but the new dates are from 7 to 10 June( two days later than planned).

Novelda(Spain), 25 May,2018- The Board of Administration of the Levantina Group has named, with the full support of the new owners, the British investing group ByBrook Capital, the current President Patrick Verschelde as the CEO, who will now assume the functions of Martin Beck, who leaves the company for personal reasons.

Novelda(Spain),May, 2018- According to a press note released by the Levantina Group on 18 May, the British investing company ByBrook Capital, which has recently purchased the majority of the shares and debt of Levantina,is now working on a plan for restructuring the debt with the aim of recapitalising the business and providing the necessary additional capital for fulfilling the multi-year business plan approved by the management of the company during the start of the year. From Levantina satisfaction is expressed for this operation and it is considered that " the entrance of this investing group will help to overcome the financial difficulties and to work together to clean up the balance sheet and assure the viability of the company", affirms Martin A.Beck, Managing Director of Levantina. The new investors are already working with the existing management team and plan to increase the investment with the objective of consolidating the Levantina project.

USA, May, 2018- The imports of quartz in USA has recently been generating controversy. The US quartz surfaces manufacturer, Cambria, has petitioned the American government to levy antidumping and countervailing duty on quartz imports from China alleging that Chinese producers have used dumping to gain an unfair advantage in the US market and are hurting the domestic industry. Quartz imports from China reached a figure of more than US$ 450 million in 2017. However, it seems some leading American importers of quartz from China are against levying antidumping duties and are making efforts so that antidumping duties are not levied. 

Brazil, April 2018- The unusually long and harsh winter in the northern hemisphere clearly has been one of the reasons for a slow start to business activity in the stone industry. The official date for the first three months of this year show exports from Brazil have declined by 20% compared to last year for similar period.

 

Russia, April 2018.- Due to the World Football Cup being held this year in the country in the month of June, the authorities decided to bring forward all trade shows and conventions so that there would be no problem of availability of hotel rooms. Result was that three different trade shows related to building materials and construction (Stone Fair, Mosbuild and Batimat) were held simultaneously during the dates 3 to 6 April in different venues in Moscow, creating some confusion among both exhibitors and visitors. Construction activity seems to have picked up in the other cities of the vast country and is no longer restricted to Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

 

Egypt, March 2018.- At least four mega factories for processing marble and granite, each with investments of dozens of million dollars are soon coming up in Egypt. All the factories will be state owned, and it is expected by end of the year 2018 all the four factories will be fully operational. Additional annual production capacity from the new units is expected to be around 15 to 20 million sqm.

 

India, 8 February 2018.-The WORLD NATURAL STONE ASSOCIATION (WONASA) in collaboration with the Indian Stone Association FIGSI organised a Panel Discussion on The New challenges facing the Natural Stone industry during the Stona fair inBangalore.. Participants were Mr Fernando Bolta, (Ceramiche Daytona, Italy), Mr Paulo Florio Giafarov (DGG, Brazil) and Mr Rogerio Moutinho (MGLW, UK). The participants debated on how the natural stone industry was being negatively affected by the new technological products in porcelain, but there was a market for both and discussed how there would ultimately be a co-existence between natural and artificial stone.

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Taiwan, February 2018.- The earthquake in Taiwan on 6 February has had very negative consequences for the stone industry of the country. Most of the stone industry is located in Hualien close to the epicentre of the earthquake of magnitude 6.4, and some people estimate that as much as 30% of the slabs were destroyed due to the earthquake. Fortunately, since the earthquake took place in the evening hours when most workers had already left the factories, no human casualties took place.

 

Algeria January 2018.- Import restrictions in Algeria on marble and granite among other products as a result of austerity measures taken recently by the government and also to protect local producers have affected some international companies which sell in a significant way to this country.