Marble Market in China
Hard and smooth in texture, marble is regarded as an elegant and solemn material in China and is widely used in people’s life. This article will give a brief introduction of marble’s market in China, including China’s consumption and production of marble, the top corporations in the market, and China’s import and export of marble.
Marble Consumption in China
In China, the consumption of marble is mainly made up of four parts based on its application, as it is showed in the pie chart on the right. First, the construction and decoration industry has the largest marble consumption, occupying 50% of the share. Second, around 30% of the marble in China is used as a material in statuary and monuments, mostly for stone inscription and gravestones. Third, about 10% of the consumption is for furniture industry. The rest 10% of the marble is consumed in the vases and lamps market.
In the first part of the consumption, which is the largest one, marble is used as a facing stone in buildings and residences, and for pillars, colonnades, paneling, wainscoting, and floor tiles. For the buildings and infrastructures, marble is used both in interior and exterior decoration, which consumes a large amount. These large-scale construction projects are where marble market booms. In China, the marble consumption increases annually among the constructions of airports, public squares, starred hotels, villas, high-end communities and clubs. For the residences, marble is used in interior decoration, mostly for floor tiles and countertops.
Marble consumer market can also be grouped by its color. Beige marble is the most popular one in China, which takes about 50% of the market. White marble and black marble also have high consumptions, as China is rich in these two kinds of marble.
Marble Output in China
China abounds with marble resource. The output of marble building board in China has remained a two-digital growth over the past few years. In the year 2012, the output of the marble building board (127,813,617 square meters) almost doubled that of the previous year. The marble output in 2013 is believed to surpass the number in 2012
Marble production in China, as the pie chart on the right demonstrates, is dominated by five provinces and region that account for three quarters of China’s output of marble. Fujian Province（福建省） is the leader, with 35% share followed by Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region（广西壮族自治区） with 22% of the domestic output. Shandong Province（山东省）, Hubei Province（湖北省）, and Guangdong Province（广东省） almost equally share 18% of the output. The other marble producing provinces and regions in China represent the remaining one quarter of the marble production.
China’s Top Ten Marble Corporations
The top ten China’s marble corporations are: Xishi Group, Dongsheng Stone Industry Corporation, Hongfa Group, Fujian Quanzhou South Star Marble Corporation, Huahui Enterprise, Xiamen Songda Stone Co., Ltd., Gaoshi Stone Group, Universal Marble & Granite Group Ltd., Kangli Stone Group, and Dong Guan Dong Cheng Stone Products Company Limited[i].
Six of the top ten marble corporations set their head offices in Fujian Province, and the rest of the four corporations’ headquarters are in Guangdong Province. Most of them were first founded in these two provinces. Fujian Province and Guangdong Province are rich in marble resource. Both are along the coast with convenient transportation and are economically strong in China. Although Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region also has a large output of marble, seldom do big marble companies set their headquarters in this region.
All of these top ten marble corporations’ business cover from manufacture to marketplace. They own domestic marble mines in provinces like Fujian, Guangdong, Shandong, and Yunnan. A few of them, like Gaoshi Stone Group and Dong Guan Dong Cheng Stone Products Company Limited, own marble mines abroad including in Spain, US, Norway, Italy and Brazil. They all manage the marble assembly lines by their own. All of them have branches in China’s big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou. Some of them, like Xishi Group, Dongsheng Stone Industry Corporation, Gaoshi Stone Group, and Dong Guan Dong Cheng Stone Products Company Limited have offices abroad for import and export business.
Marble Import & Export in China
China imports large quantities of marble while the export volume is relatively small. The two charts below represent China’s marble import and export volume and their compositions (2007 – 2011).
The total marble imports increased considerably from 2007 (4,482,153 tons) to 2011 (9,100,130 tons). The year 2010 experienced a dramatic increase of 66%. More than 70% of imports are from Turkey, Egypt, Spain, and Iran. Every year, nearly 40% of the import volume is from Turkey, and more than 20% is from Egypt.
Compared to the total volume of import, China’s marble export volume is fairly small, only one tenth of the import volume. China’s major marble export destination is Taiwan. Around 60% of China’s marble exportation is to Taiwan. Hongkong takes about 10% of the share. Most of the China’s marble importers are in Asia.
[i] The Chinese names of these ten corporations respectively are: 溪石集团发展有限公司, 东升石业股份有限公司, 宏发集团有限公司, 福建泉州南星大理石有限公司, 华辉事业股份有限公司, 厦门松达石业有限公司, 高时石材集团, 环球石材集团, 康利石材集团, and东莞市东成石材有限公司.
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