September 2020: Overview

The General View: Hard-surface imports in 2020 made history with the best September … well, ever. The United States changed the way it counted porcelain products a few years ago, so a comparable number (including natural stone and quartz surfaces) for this September is $274.8 million. That’s the biggest September on record, beating the previous record of $247.1 million set in the go-go years of the housing bubble.

The Expected: All the hard-surface sectors show three consecutive months of strong growth with import values as construction remains strong in the United States.

The Unexpected: Granite’s continued recovery. The venerable surface doesn’t get the current limelight like marble and premium manufactured goods, but granite’s posting some of the best imports stats in years with total value and volume.

The Strange: Quartz-slab imports, in both volume and value, lack the aggressive growth rates seen in the past. Is this a temporary lull, or the sign of a maturing market?

Next Month: All the U.S. hard-surface import numbers call for optimism. And yet there’s a nagging feeling that it’s not going to last, and pent-up demand from earlier this year will run its course.


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