December 2020: Overview

The General View: U.S. hard-surface imports remain relatively stable in December, dipping only 1.7% in customs value from November. Granite declines month-to-month by 5.8% in December, but it still beats year-to-year totals from December 2019 by 26.6%. The Expected: The catch-all sector of Other Stone in U.S. import reporting remains strong, with December stepping up by 1.7% in month-to-month performance from November. It’s also an amazing 77.9% ahead of December 2019, no doubt fueled by the demand for quartzite. The Unexpected: Spain retook the lead in shipment value for quartz slabs in December, as India and Vietnam both slip from November totals by more than 10%. India also fell by double-digits from November in volume but maintains a healthy lead of more than 1.2 million ft² over Spain and Vietnam. The Strange: It’s déjà vu all over again for porcelain, with the $88.2 million in December shipments finishing only 1% ahead of November, while the 93.23 million ft² going through U.S. ports in December is only 0.1% better than the previous month. Next Month: Both January and February perpetually rank as the lowest months in hard-surface-import activity, so a decline would be normal market behavior. A lag in March and April, though, would be cause for concern.


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