January 2021: Overview
The General View: U.S. hard-surface imports in January barely wavered from the previous month, moving a fractional 0.8% down from December 2020. Shipment are well-above pre-pandemic levels, with a total $383.5 million besting January 2020 by 23.3%. The Expected: Worked marble continues its hot streak, with January’s $54.9 million in customs value setting an all-time record for the second month in a row. A decade ago (January 2011), only $14.4 million of the material went through U.S. ports-of-entry. The Unexpected: The top spots in quartz-slab shipment value shuffled again, with Vietnam taking the top spot at $21.5 million, with India chasing in second with less than a $650,000 difference. Spain dropped in quartz-slab value by nearly 20% but remained a strong third. The Strange: Yes, the percentages are correct for India’s year-to-year differences in quartz-slab shipments. The 1,000-plus percentage differences resulted from a big drop in the quartz-surface trade from India (and also Turkey) as the U.S. International Trade Commission considered unfair-trade tariff action in late 2019 and early 2020. Next Month: The young bunnies will see a strong January as proof of a strong and long-lasting growth path for the industry. Older rabbits will beware a fall-off of pent-up demand, but everyone will agree that there’s plenty of green grass available now.
A podcast of hard-surface industry news updated every second and fourth Wednesday.