Spotty participation rates of Turkish natural stone companies in the Coverings Show, one of the leading surface covering shows in U.S., hit the rock bottom in Atlanta this year!
The world’s leading natural stone and covering materials exhibition COVERINGS Show, although having been following a spurt since 2015, has lost popularity among Turkish companies. This year the show was lack of 13 Turkish companies when compared to a previous year. When the Turkish Companies first started to participate in the COVERINGS Show via national participation organizations in 2002, travertine producer Turkish companies have began to show high attention to the event. However, today we see ceramic producers in majority in COVERINGS.
The number of Turkish participants in COVERINGS, America’s leading surface coverings show, does not correspond with Turkey’s natural stone export figures to U.S.A.! In 2002, the value of Turkey’s natural stone export to America was 94 million 115 thousand dollars, and the number of Turkish participants in Coverings were 35. Last year, the value of Turkey’s natural stone export to America was 294 million 390 thousand dollars, and the number of Turkish participants in Coverings were 62. In the first 4 months of 2018 the value of Turkey’s natural stone export to America was 93 million 003 thousand dollars and the number of Turkish participants in Coverings were 47.
Record Participant Rates in 2005
In 2005, when travertine was in fashion, Turkish national participation was record-breaking with 95 companies. However, the value of Turkey’s natural stone export to US was 321 million 309 thousand dollars in the same period. In other words, compared to the past year, Turkish natural stone export to U.S. was 26 million 919 thousand dollars higher in 2004.
Export Rates in 2006
We have realized the highest natural export to the US in 2006, as 386 million 480 thousand dollars. Our natural stone exports had a slight decline in the following year, when it was realized as 385 million 973 thousand dollars.
The Mortgage Crisis in 2008 has Triggered Regression
With the impact of the Mortgage Crisis, which arose in the last quarter of 2008, our exports to U.S. market was 313 million 639 thousand dollars with a decrease of 72 million 334 thousand dollars. In the following year, there was a sharp decline and the export figures was realized as 207 million 934 thousand dollars. This increased up to 219 million 434 thousand dollars in 2010.
More than 300 million dollars export income was gained in 2014
In the US market where the recovery tendency was observed in 2011, our export figure reached 236 million 762 thousand dollars. In 2012 it rose to 252 million 106 thousand dollars. The value of Turkey’s natural stone export was 297 million in 2013 and 323 million 882 thousand dollar at the end of 2014.
Back to low export rates in 2016
Our psychological limit in natural stone exports, which has started to decrease again in 2016, is 300 million dollars. When there is a certain decline in the sector’s attention for the American market, natural stone export income of the sector automatically falls below this psychological limit.
We can increase our efficiency in the American natural stone market by keeping our Exporters’ Associations and this largest processed product market active and working by developing innovative alternatives against the competitive ceramic products.
Turkish Natural Stone Should Regain Prestige
The most urgent thing to do in the American market is to give the good reputation that Turkish natural stone and marble have lost in time. Unfortunately, today, there is certain distrust for Turkish marble sector and natural stone products. This has started in the years when travertine was in fashion in U.S. It is possible to list many reasons underlying. We briefly can say, some of these reasons are measurement standard, packaging problems, damage caused by competitiveness in prices, and late delivery problems.
Analyze: Ersin BOZKURT