July 2020: Overview

The General View: July’s hard-surfaces import-value total of $329.5 million topped June by 33.1% -- just barely short of increasing by a third. COVID-19 is making a fool’s game worldwide of optimism based on early numbers, but hopefully this recovery will remain strong for the rest of the year.

The Expected: Quartz-slab’s rebound in July, with its 10.1 million ft² besting June totals by 44%. Both India and Turkey seem to be getting back on track; the two increased shipments by 1.3 million ft² in one month.

The Unexpected: Granite (35.5%) and marble (50.9%) showed better-than-average growth in import values from June to July. Banking on early numbers can be dangerous, but granite could be reversing a slump … especially with its 124K in metric tons for July surpassing June by 49.5%. Marble-shipment volume in July jumped 39.6% from June.

The Strange: The increases in July traffic at U.S. ports-of-entry didn’t raise all boats equally after unloading the freighters. The volume of porcelain shipped to the United States increased 18% from June to July; that’s still good news, but well below other major hard-surface sectors. Travertine, meanwhile, trudged from June to July with shipments growing by only 3.7%.

Next Month: How long will the good news last? August (and September) should tell whether the uptick is either a one-time rush or a steady trend.


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