San Diego—Catalina Research and Ceramic Tile And Stone Consultants (CTaSC) recently announced the release of their 2013 Catalina Report on Natural and Manufactured Stone. The report is an in-depth industry investigation of the $7.3 billion U.S. natural and manufactured stone product industry.
The U.S. stone product market has been recovering since 2011 and the recovery has continued to strengthen during 2013, according to the report. The surge in new home construction has led the recovery, as seen by the 28.2% increase in housing starts in 2012 and an estimated 31.6% gain during 2013.
The residential remodeling market is also benefiting from the increase in existing home sales and the rise in home prices. The increase in existing home sales stimulates homeowner remodeling projects and the rise in home prices is an incentive for non-movers to invest in their homes and upgrade to stone countertops and flooring. As the residential market grows in importance, stone product suppliers have increased their reliance on the home center channel. Currently, however, the non-residential market is lagging compared to the overall recovery due to the decline in public building construction activity.
The report includes the following important sections that will allow industry companies to analyze the various segments, channels, and trends of the stone industry:
The recovery in residential markets has benefited demand for countertops. Countertop sales are outpacing overall sales in the natural and manufactured stone sectors. Quartz stone is also taking share in the countertop market. The report can be used to analyze all end-use market and applications.
Granite and marble are the most important natural stone product materials and are also growing at the sharpest rate. Manufactured stone (concrete tiles) and engineered quartz products are also outpacing overall industry growth. The report tracks the sourcing of all types of stone from domestic and foreign suppliers. U.S. sales and imports of manufactured and engineered stone are tracked in a separate section.
Stone prices remain sluggish, which has improved the competitive position of stone products. Price trends are tracked by type of stone.
Prices have remained sluggish due the competitive nature of this industry, despite some consolidation during the recession. Competitive pressures are currently increasing from imports, as foreign-sourced products regain ground during the recovery. Import trends are tracked by country of origin.
The home center channel sources directly, however, independent importers and distributors primarily sell to other retailers and installers, according to a survey by CTaSC. The survey provides data/information on the sales and markets for stone product importers, fabricators, and stone product manufacturers. In addition, the report estimates the ceramic tile and stone installation materials, maintenance products, and tool market.
Residential sales are expected to lead sales growth over the next five years as builders construct new housing units to meet the pent-up demand created by the household formations during the recession. The Catalina Report is a useful resource for planning sales growth over the next five years.
These and other findings were uncovered in the 250-page report, which covers all aspects of the industry including mines and quarries, stone product processors and fabricators, manufactured stone producers, importers and installers.
Donato Pompo, president, CTaSC, underscored the importance of the information gathered from the stone industry, stating, “In-depth information about the stone industry is hard to come by. It’s vital for us to know what’s going on in the market and understand how the current state of the economy will affect our business and future opportunities.” This is the fifth version of the Catalina Stone Report (the first was in 2003).