End User Focus: Playing ceramic catch-up

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Published: Tuesday, 03 July 2012

There are three main sectors for production of ceramics in the world: porcelain/tableware, sanitaryware and tiles. In all of these markets, China is the world’s leading producer and consumer and it is just the global ceramic tiles sector that will be considered in the following.

By Ian Wilson – Consultant, UK

There are three main sectors for production of ceramics in the world: porcelain/tableware, sanitaryware and tiles. In all of these markets, China is the world’s leading producer and consumer and it is just the global ceramic tiles sector that will be considered in the following.

Current situation

For global tiles production there was a slowdown in 2008 and a sharp decline in 2009 with production and consumption recovering in 2010. Figures from Ceramic World Review Chinese Edition 2012 (Paola Giancomini) report that production rose from 8.151bn m2 in 2009 to 9.515bn m2 in 2010, an increase of 11.7%. Total tile consumption grew by 10.5% to 9.350bn m2 in 2010 from 2009.

Global production and consumption in 2010

Figures for 2010 are shown in Table 1 for production and Table 2 for consumption: All regions, apart from Oceania, showed an increased production in 2010 over 2009 and apart from the EU, where consumption fell by 5.0% in 2010 from 2009, showed an increased consumption. Asia showed the strongest growth in production and consumption, with increases of 14.9% and 14.0% respectively in 2010 over 2009.

 

AREA

2010 (Million sq.metres)

% World Production

% Increase 2009/2010

European Union (27)

1,128

11.9

+4.8

Other Europe (incl Turkey)

443

4.7

+12.2

N. America (incl Mexico)

257

2.7

+8.2

Central-South America

940

9.9

+4.9

Asia

6,370

66.9

+14.9

Africa

370

3.9

+6.6

Oceania

7

<0.1

0.0

TOTAL

9,515

100

+11.7%

 

Global Consumption of tiles by Region in 2010 (Million sq.metres)

AREA

2010 (Million sq.metres)

% World Consumption

% Increase 2009/2010

European Union (27)

941

10.1

-5.0

Other Europe (incl Turkey)

456

4.9

+9.1

N. America (incl Mexico)

389

4.2

+7.0

Central-South America

978

10.5

+7.6

Asia

6,026

64.4

+14.0

Africa

516

5.5

+9.3

Oceania

44

0.4

+2.3

TOTAL

9,350

100

+10.5%

Source:  Ceramic World Wide Review 2012





Leading tile producing countries

The top 10 leading tile producers by country for 2010 are shown in Table 3, with figures for these countries addionally shown back to:

Table 3: Production of Tiles from 2006-2010 for 10 leading countries (based on 2010 figures).

No

COUNTRY

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

% World

%Change 2010/2009

1

CHINA

3,000

3,200

3,400

3,600

4,200

44.1

+16.7

2

BRAZIL

584

637

713

715

753

7.9

+5.4

3

INDIA

340

385

390

490

550

5.8

+12.1

4

IRAN

210

250

320

350

400

4.2

+14.3

5

ITALY

569

559

513

368

387

4.1

+5.3

6

VIETNAM

199

254

270

295

375

3.9

+27.1

7

SPAIN

608

585

495

324

366

3.8

+12.8

8

INDONESIA

170

235

275

278

287

3.0

+3.2

9

TURKEY

265

260

225

205

245

2.6

+19.5

10

EGYPT

122

140

160

200

220

2.3

+10.0

OTHERS

1,693

1,747

1,759

1,690

1,732

18.3

WORLD TOTAL

7,760

8,252

8,520

8,515

9,515

100

+11,7

Source: Ceramic World Wide Review 2012

In 2010, the 10 leading countries accounted for 81.7% of tile production with China well ahead with 44.1%. The top 30 producing countries in the world accounted for 96% of world production. Of note has been the significant increase in production from China, Brazil, India, Iran, Vietnam, Indonesia and Egypt from 2006 to 2010, while Italy and Spain have shown a decrease in output.

 


A comparison between global production in 2006 and 2010 for the 10 leading countries (based on 2010 output) is shown in Figures 1 and 2.

It clearly shows that, in 2006, Spain had an 8% share of the global output, which has fallen to 4% in 2010, with Italy showing a reduction from 7% to 4% from 2006 to 2010.

In the corresponding period (2006-2010), China has gained five percentage points rising from 39% to 44% (Figure 3) with rises for Brazil, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Iran.

A plot, excluding China, of the other nine leading producing tile countries is shown in Figure 4 for output of tiles from 2006 to 2010. This clearly shows the countries that have increased and decreased output.


 

Exports/imports accounted for 20.5% of world consumption, as shown in Table 4, with 79.5% being for domestic sales.
 

China

China controlled 44% of the world market in 2010 according to Ceramic World Review. According to Roskill associate consultant Eileen Hao, production of ceramic tiles in China consists of porcelain tile (40%), polished tile (30%), antique tile (20%), external wall tile (9.5%) and 0.5% roof tile. At IM21 in Budapest in March 2012, a paper by Hao and Robert Baylis (Roskill Information Services) indicated that Chinese ceramic tile output reached an estimated 9bn m2, with a forecast for 2015 put at 9.5bn m2.

They report that the Chinese ceramic industry will continue to improve quality by investment in new technology and aim to export higher quality products. Emphasis will also be on reducing emissions and energy saving. But pressures, internally and externally, during the Five Year Plan (2011-2015) will come from more competition in the export markets, rising production costs in China, environmental constraints and, perhaps, further government measures to control rapid expansion of real estate.