Although, in many ways, 2020 was a 'black year' for the ceramics sector, the US managed to contain the damage, at least as far as the domestic industry was concerned.
According to data released by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce and UCT, total tile sales in the U.S. declined 3.5% to 263.6 million sq. m. However, U.S. ceramic industry sales in the domestic market continued to grow, registering a +0.9% year-on-year increase.
US tile sales revenue stood at around $1.30 billion (-2.8% on 2019), or 39.3% of the total value of the US ceramic market (37.6% in 2019) and the average price fell from $16.66/sq m in 2019 to $16.03/sq m in 2020.
When it comes to exports, the data is less rosy. Due to the health emergency and closures imposed in many countries around the world, US tile exports fell to 2.9 million sq m (-2.4% on 2019), of which 73.4% went to Canada and 10.2% to Mexico.
As a result, revenues also decreased by -12.6%.
Imports to the US suffered a severe blow in the year of the pandemic. This is because, while the US did not experience major shutdowns and production freezes, keeping production running, the major exporting countries to the US experienced weeks of strict lockdowns.
In particular, the blockade in Spain, Mexico and Italy generated a drop of 22.9% in May 2020; the situation improved in the second half of the year, ending 2020 with a drop of 5.3%.
Also significant was the exit of Chinese exports from the US market, which plummeted by 98.2%, due to the policies introduced by the US regarding duties.