U.S. Surface Imports June 2017

The good news: Granite shipments to the United States in June topped monthly totals for the same time last year.

The bad news: The country’s biggest trading partner in granite showed a double-digit loss in tonnage from last June.

The Stone Update analysis of June data from the U.S International Trade Commission showed monthly growth in “worked” (cut, then polished on one side) granite imports for the first time this year. The 168,751 metric tons received at U.S. ports-of-entry in June headed totals from a year earlier by 7.1%, offering a positive light on granite consumption in the market.

That rise in imports, however, came as Brazil — the biggest supplier of granite to the United States — shipped 14.6% less this June than the previous year. The decline, however, may be due to Brazil shipping an unusually large amount in June 2016 (81,001 metric tons) in comparison to this June’s 69,194 metric tons. Brazil’s exports to the United States in June 2017 ended up being the second-best month to date this year, and only 5.3% less than this May.

China pulled most of the slack left by Brazil in June, sending 55,976 metric tons (+37.0% from the same time last year), with India also on the rise with 23,437 metric tons (+14.5 from June 2016).

China also continued its steamroller advance in quartz-surface shipments, breaking the 5-million ft² monthly barrier in June with 5,065,158 ft², up 37.1% from the same time last year. The other two major exporters, Spain and Israel, also pushed ahead with square-footage shipments of 1,904,349 (+18.8%) and 749,372 (+21.9%), respectively.