Marble Market - Turkey’s Marble Dominance Clouded by Lifted Embargo on Iran

Other Non-Ferrous Metal Ores August 16, 2015
Author: Olga Minchina
Account Manager

marble market

Despite a drop in exports in 2014, Turkey continued to dominate on the marble market. In 2014, Turkey exported 4,898 tonnes of marble and travertine totaling 976 million USD, 13% under the previous year. Its primary trading partner was China, where it supplied 85% of its total marble and travertine exports in value terms, accounting for 48% of China's total imports.

From 2007 to 2014, Turkey was a net exporter of marble and travertine. Over this period, exports consistently exceeded imports in value terms. In physical terms this difference was even more pronounced.

Italy and Spain were among the other main global suppliers of marble and travertine in 2014. However, the fastest growing exporters from 2007 to 2014 were Pakistan (+23% per year) and Germany (+18% per year).

Turkey's top 5 trading partners in 2014 were China, India, Italy, Egypt and Indonesia, with a combined 92% share of Turkey's marble and travertine exports. The share of China increased significantly (+21 percentage points), while the share of Italy illustrated negative dynamics (-4 percentage points).

One of the recent developments that may affect Turkey's economy is the West's decision to lift their sanctions on Iran. Turkey's business environment is currently weighing the potential pros and cons of this decision. At present, the volume of trade between Turkey and Iran is approaching 14 billion USD, and is likely to double by the next year.

While Iran presents marvelous opportunities for some industries, it may be a fierce adversary in other spheres. For example, Iran is a great new market for the Turkish textile and garment industry, as well as the tourism, food and chemical industries.

At the same time, Rahmi Çuhacı, head of the Young Businessmen Association of Turkey, believes that lifting the embargo may have a strong impact on the construction sector. Turkey's marble industry is also likely to experience a negative impact, since Iran has vast marble reserves and can now, with the sanctions lifted, benefit now from low-cost energy.

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Source: World: Marble And Travertine - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2020