February 2021: Overview
The General View: The month looked very, very good when compared to past Februarys. All sectors looked healthy this year compared to the early going in what was, at that point, a pre-pandemic 2020> The Expected: Nearly all U.S. hard-surface import sectors declined in either total value and volume from January to February, but that’s pretty much old hat at ports-of-entry. The February swoon is an annual occurrence; for most materials, the decline isn’t as steep as previous years. The Unexpected: Quartz surfaces managed to register a slight increase in February from January levels. Granite imports also showed some surprising strength with a 12% overall growth in shipments during January and February from the first two months of 2020. The Strange: India’s year-to-year differences in quartz-slab shipments remain skewed, due to the major pause in January 2020 deliveries due to concerns over a U.S. unfair-trade tariff. With other (not marble or travertine) calcareous surfaces, China remained as a somewhat shock leader in shipment value and volume. Next Month: Will the worldwide shipping-container shortage and increasing freight rates take a bite out of U.S. hard-surface imports? The data isn’t showing any effect now, but trade-level changes could manifest themselves in March.
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