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U.S., India, and Mexico Lead Unprecedented Shifts in the Global Tile Industry

Ceramic Tiles Market

In recent years, the United States has continually introduced new policies against China in trade and technology, leading to enormous changes in the Sino-U.S. trade pattern in just a few years. Take ceramic tiles as an example; once, China was the top importer of tiles to the U.S., but now it has fallen out of the top five.

In India, through nearly a decade of rapid development, its tile manufacturing capacity and quality are closing in on China. India has now become the world’s second-largest producer and consumer of ceramic tiles and the third-largest exporter.

Let’s look at the latest developments in the U.S. and Indian tile markets.

Table of Contents

U.S. Ceramic Tile Consumption Declines in Q1 2023; Mexico Becomes the Largest Importer

According to the 1Q 2023 U.S. Ceramic Tile Market Update, ceramic tile consumption in the U.S. fell by 3.9% in Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2022. Tile shipments (including exports) amounted to 20.09 million square meters, down 2.3% compared to Q1 2022; sales revenue (including exports) reached 373.6 billion USD, up 5.1% from the same period in 2022. The average price of ceramic tiles was 18.78 USD per square meter, higher than 17.74 USD per square meter in Q1 2022.

U.S. tile shipments, imports, exports, and total consumption
*Total Consumption = U.S. Shipments - Export Volume + Import Volume (Unit: 10,000 square meters)

U.S. imports of ceramic tiles amounted to 44.88 million square meters in Q1 2023, down 4.6% from Q1 2022, making up 69.1% of total consumption, slightly lower than the 69.6% in Q1 2022. Mexico was the largest importer, accounting for 20.5% of total imports, followed by India (17.9%) and Spain (16.7%).

tile import volume

India's Ceramic Tile Annual Capacity Exceeds 3.7 Billion m², with over 900 large-scale production lines

Indian media reports that rapid urbanization and infrastructure development plans have provided significant opportunities for the building materials industry in recent years. The Indian government wants to make India a modern and sustainable economy, thus increasing investment in infrastructure and policy incentives to promote growth in the building materials industry.

ceramic tile production line

Previously, MECS Research Center, an Italian machinery and equipment manufacturers’ association, released a report on India’s ceramic tile industry. According to the report, 95% of Indian ceramic producers are concentrated in Morbi, Gujarat, with a capacity of about 3.3 billion square meters per year, and the total ceramic industry capacity exceeds 3.7 billion square meters per year. India’s actual ceramic tile production has also grown to 2.5 billion square meters in 2021, doubling since 2012, with a compound annual growth rate of around 8.6%.

In 2022, rising energy costs caused some producers in Gujarat to shut down their kilns for several months, slowing down the industry’s growth. However, due to over 900 large capacity and efficient production lines, MECS predicts that India’s ceramic tile production will reach 3.7 billion square meters by 2026, with domestic demand consuming around 70% and exports exceeding 1 billion square meters.

India Boosts Infrastructure Plans, Building Materials Industry Sees Opportunity

According to the World Bank’s Global Economic Outlook Report 2023, India’s GDP growth is predicted to be 7.2% this year. The rapid economic and social growth is substantially driving infrastructure development and the construction materials market.

India's ceramic tile market
(Source: Erik Johnson | Linked In)

In recent years, the Indian government has launched many large infrastructure projects, such as Bharatmala Pariyojana, National Infrastructure Pipeline, Sagarmala, and Smart Cities Mission. India focuses on road networks, port development, and urban renovation, continually increasing allocations in the federal budget. These investments grew by 18% in 2021, 10.8% in 2022, and are expected to exceed 500 billion USD this year, reaching over 600 billion USD by 2025.

As urban populations multiply, India’s demand for high-quality infrastructure has surged. The residential and commercial real estate industry has flourished, creating substantial markets for ceramic tiles, doors, windows, aluminum, and steel in the construction of skyscrapers, shopping malls, hotels, and office spaces. Builders and developers increasingly adopt modern construction technologies and materials to meet diverse customer needs.

Uniceramics Expo 2024 Launches Global Buyer Invitation

Foshan (Tanzhou) Ceramic Exposition 2024, widely known as Uniceramics Expo, recently launched its global buyer invitation work, first stopping in Bangladesh, neighboring India, visiting the Bangladesh Ceramic Association, and companies like CBC Tiles and Great Wall Ceramic.

Next, the Uniceramics Expo’s global promotion team will visit more overseas production areas, inviting more countries’ ceramic tile companies to see the 2024 Tanzhou Ceramic Exhibition. Let’s meet in Tanzhou, Foshan from April 18-22, 2024!

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