2019 US Ceramic Tile Market Update
Tuesday, April 21, 2020 from Floor Covering Weekly
According to TCNA, many key economic indicators were positive in 2019, as the U.S. economy experienced its tenth consecutive year of expansion on the heels of the Great Recession. However, the American ceramic tile market did not follow suit and declined for the first time in a decade.
U.S. ceramic tile consumption in 2019 was 2.9 billion sq. ft. (273.2 million m2), down 5.4 percent from the previous year, according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce and TCNA. (Total Consumption is U.S. Shipments + Imports – Exports).
The U.S. imported 2.08 billion sq. ft. (193 million m2) of ceramic tile in 2019, down 5.5 percent from the previous year (2.2 billion sq. ft. or 204.1 million m2) according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.
Imports comprised 70.6 percent of 2019 U.S. tile consumption by volume, down from 70.7 percent in 2018.
Although China remained the largest exporter of ceramic tile to the U.S. by volume, its exports to the U.S. fell dramatically last year. This was due primarily to the effects of a trade remedy case filed by a coalition of several U.S. manufacturers, which petitioned the federal government to remedy unfairly dumped and subsidized ceramic tile imports from China, TCNA explained.
Chinese imports made up 21.2 percent of total U.S. tile imports by volume in 2019. This was down from 31.5 percent in 2018 and represented China’s lowest share of U.S. imports since 2008.
Imports from Mexico comprised 17.3 percent of total U.S. imports in 2019, unchanged from 2018.
Spain surpassed Italy as the third largest exporter of tile to the U.S., making up 16.9 percent of U.S. imports by volume, up from 14.1 percent in 2018. The next largest exporters to the U.S. were Italy (15.9 percent import share) and Brazil (9.8 percent), according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.
On a dollar basis (CIF + duty) Italy remained the largest exporter to the U.S. in 2019, comprising 29.6 percent of U.S. imports. China was second with a 20.3 percent share, and Spain was third with a 20.1 percent share, TCNA added.
In 2019 U.S. shipments (less exports) were 863.6 million sq. ft. (80.3 million m2), down 5.2 percent from 2018. This represented the lowest level of domestic shipments since 2015, TCNA said.
Domestically-produced tile made up 29.4 percent of total U.S. tile consumption (by volume) in 2019, up slightly from its share the previous year (29.3 percent).
In dollar value 2019 U.S. FOB factory sales of domestic shipments were $1.33 billion, down 4 percent compared to 2018. Domestically-manufactured tile made up 37.6 percent of 2019 total U.S. tile consumption by dollar value.
The per unit value of domestic shipments increased from $1.53/sq. ft. in 2018 to $1.55/sq. ft. in 2019, according to TCNA.
U.S. ceramic tile exports were 31.8 million sq. ft. (3.0 million m2) in 2019, up 6.8 percent from 2018. The two largest recipients of these exports were Canada (70.7 percent) and Mexico (11 percent), according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.
–New Home Starts
Total new home starts, which have risen each of the last ten years, were at their highest annual level since 2007 (1.29 million units) and were up 3.2 percent from the previous year.
Though still down considerably from the record high of 2.1 million starts in 2005, housing starts in 2019 were more than double their level at the beginning of the decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
–New Single Family Home Sales
An additional measure of the residential market’s strength, new single-family home sales were at their highest level in twelve years.
The 682,000 units sold in 2019 represented a robust 10.5 percent increase from the previous year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Another good sign for the U.S. housing market was that foreclosure filings, a key inverse indicator of the residential market’s health, fell for the ninth straight year and were at their lowest level since tracking began in 2005.
The 493,000 filings (0.36 percent of all U.S. housing units) recorded in 2019 reflected a 21.1 percent decline from 2018, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
For a full Copy of the TCNA report click: TCNA 2019 US Ceramic Tile Update