NEWS

 

India, August 2021.- Pokarna Engineering Stone formally innaugurated its second state of the art quartz factory located in Mekaguda, in the state of Telengana, on 31 July 2021.The inauguration was done by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mr K.T. Ram Rao with the presence of several other government officials.

 

India, 28 July, 2021.- Marudhar Rocks International Pvt Ltd, India a leading manufacture of Quartz surfaces, has recently aquired the Bretonstone Quartz Plant of ASI Industries Ltd in Jaipur. Marudhar operates a Super Jumbo size Bretonstone plant in Bangalore. With this new acquisition the total capacity of the company now reaches 800 slabs per day, which, according to the company, is the biggest in India.

 

Bologne (Italy), 21 April 2021.- The dates for the Cersaie fair in Bologne has been confirmed: 27 September to 1 October, this year.

 

Castellón (Spain), 14 April 2021.- According to the report on the impact of the pandemic in the industrial sector in Valencia región, the porcelain sector in Spain is one of those that has best resisted the crisis and is among the most optimistic with respect to the future. The report highlights that many companies (more than 83%) have made improvements in innovation both of products as well as in productive processes. The prospects are optimistic: almost half of the companies expect to maintain sales levels and more than 25% even think their business will increase, 9 out of 10 plan to maintain their staff or might needed to increase the number of employees. Half of the companies expect to increase their exports.

This report was made by the Polytechnic University of Valencia and presented yesterday by the Economic Council of the government of Valencia, Rafael Climent.

 

Spain, 22 December, 2020.- In a widely applauded measure, the Cosentino group has decided to give a bonus of total of 4 million euros to its around 5000 employees all over the world, as appreciation for their efforts and commitment in this difficult period

 

London, UK, 2nd December, 2020.-  In light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, The Natural Stone Show & Hard Surfaces 2021 is being postponed by 12 months and will now take place from 26-28 April 2022 at ExCeL, London.

 

Cantoria, Almería (Spain) 5 November 2020.- Cosentino has presented the fifteenth edition of the international competition Cosentino Design Challenge (CDC) in an online event. The objective of this initiative is that students of architecture and design from all over the world present projects on the following topics-

In architecture: Kitchens with soul: new visions for the  normal spaces.

In design: Cosentino: material and sensations

The students have till 1 June 2021 to present their projects. The only requirement for the projects is they should include some of the surfaces developed by Cosentino:

 

Frankfurt (Germany), November 2020.- The fair CERAMITEC has been postponed until 2022. New dates are from June 21 to 24.

 

India, 1 September 2020.- In an operation that is surely an interesting diversification of its product range, the Israeli quartz surfaces  producing company, Caesarstone Ltd., has purchased the porcelain slabs manufacturer Lioli Pvt.Ltd. based in Morbi (Gujarat), India. 


Italy, 26 June 2020.- The Cersaie fair, previously postponed to the month of November, has now been cancelled for this year. The next edition will take place in 2021, dates not yet announced.

 

Italy, 6 May 2020.- The Cersaie fair, held annually in Bologne in the last week of September, has been postponed by 3 months and will now be held from 9 to 13 November, 2020.

 

India, April 29 2020.-  The tremendous uncertainty in recent months in the quartz industry of India due to imposition of very high anti-dumping duties by the USA (the biggest market by far for quartz surfaces) is now over. In a communication by the US Department of Commerce on 27 April, after due investigation, the decision has been made to impose anti-dumping duties of 3.19 % and counterveiling duties of 2.17% on quartz surfaces manufacturers from India. The net effect of the low duties is that Indian quartz manufacturers will now be very competitive in the US market. It is also probable that many new quartz plants may come up in India so

 

Spain, April 2020.-  There are many companies in Spain in the sector which are making efforts these days in the fight against Covid-19. To give just some examples, Cosentino has donated masks and protection gloves to the hospitals of Almería, Neolith has made a donation of 300,000 euros to the hospitals in Castellón, and Porcelanosa has contributed with delivery of sanitary equipment.

 

Secunderabad, India, April 8, 2020.- Pokarna Engineered Stone Limited (“Pokarna”), the wholly owned subsidiary of Pokarna Limited has contributed 125000 euros to the Chief Minister Relief Fund of Telangana and another 125000 euros to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Relief Fund for the fight against Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to monetary contribution of 250000 euros, Pokarna has contributed thousands of masks and gloves to support the healthcare professionals and policemen fighting Covid-19. 

 

Castellón (Spain), March, 14, 2020.- NEOLITH® contributes to the common fight against Coronavirus with an economic contribution of 300.000€ to three hospitals in Castellón.

 

UK, February 2020.- A new association Worktop Fabricators Federation (WFF) is being launched in early March in UK. What is interesting is this association is created as a result of the new market dynamics in which quartz and porcelain are now very much part of the stone industry structure, and this association is especially geared towards working with these new materials.

 

Mumbai, (India), February 2020.- Classic Marble Company (CMC) has introduced its latest products in Kalinga Stone marble – Melissa – and in Terrazzo marble – the Hudson Sky. Designed for minimalistic décor, the two products combine to create an elegant bathroom space

 

Castellón (Spain), February 2020.- The Pamesa Group has bought 50% of the capital of Argenta Cerámica and Cifre Cerámica. The managament of both the companies will continue to be with the current teams, and the partners involved in the management of Argenta and Cifre maintain the 50% of the shares of both companies.

 

Georgia (USA), December 2019.- The Guidoni Group from Brazil is setting up a quartz surfaces factory in McRai-Helena, in the state of Georgia. The new plant is expected to commence production in late 2020 and is expected to employ more than 400 people when working at full capacity.

 

Amsterdam (Holland), October 2019.- Neolith® inaugurated its new urban boutique in, Amsterdam (Holland), in collaboration with its distributor Michel Oprey & Beisterveld (MOB). Neolith® Urban Boutique (NUB) is the all-new concept store developed by Neolith® which focuses on the customer experience as a way to re-invent the traditional showroom and turn it into an imaginative exhibit space. As Mar Esteve, Neolith® Marketing Director says: “Our urban boutiques are more than just showrooms: we’ve carefully chosen their locations in dynamic and international urban areas, inviting people with all types of baggage to explore and enjoy them”. NUB Amsterdam joins the NUB series recently inaugurated in other major European capital cities like Madrid, London, Milan and Düsseldorf.

NUB Amsterdam Neolith.jpg

 

October, 2019. USA.- The US government has decided to impose a temporary CVD (counter-veiling duties) on imports of quartz from India of 4.32%. The definite duties will be known sometime in January 2020. This measure follows the much higher around 300% custom duties on quartz from China implemented earlier this year.

 

October, 2019. Australia.-  The state of Victoria in Australia, in its efforts to protect  exposure to workers of crystalline silica, found in engineered stone, and which leads to the  disease silicosis, has banned dry cutting of engineered stone unless the tools used have water suppression or dust extraction devices incorporated and there is also respiratory protection.

 

Narón, La Coruña (Spain).- The Guidoni group inaugurated the new second line of Breton in a ceremony in its installations in Naron, Spain last 19 September. With this new investment the company doubles production of Topzstone to reach one million sqm per year. Present in the ceremony were the CEO of the group Rafael Guidoni, the Vice President Rayner Guidoni along with the founder of the group, Jose Antonio Guidoni. There was also the presence of several authorities from the Galician government, apart from customers, employees and professionals in the construction industry.

De izq a dcha Rayner Guidoni, Rafael Guidoni, Jose Antonio Guidoni copia.jpgInauguracion Guidoni 4 copia.jpg

 

India, July,2019.- The quartz industry in India is now beginning to acquire a certain dimension in terms of new factories coming into operation. To protect the interests of the industry, the companies  have recently got together and formed a Federation of Indian quartz surface industry. The President of the Federation is Mr Krishna Rao.

 

USA, 24 June, 2019.- The tariff wars in quartz continue and are playing havoc with investment decisions everywhere and uncertainty among American buyers. The US Department of Commerce will continue with its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations concerning imports of quartz from India and Turkey, and around 1 August preliminary counterveiling duties will be decided upon ( from 45% to 180%) and antidumping duty determination is expected around October 15, 2019. These antidumping duties could be from 140% to 190%. In other words, in practical terms, the approximately 20 new quartz factories coming up in India may not even get to start production.

 

Spain, 15 June, 2019.- The company Investindustrial of which Andrea Bonomi is the President of the Board, has taken over majority control of the  Spanish company TheSize, whose factory in Almassora (Castellón) manufacturers the big format porcelain,under the well known brand Neolith. The founders, the Esteve brothers, continue to have a significant market share in the company and will continue to be involved in the management of company. There is no change in the Presidency of the company and the management. The company plans to invest around 100 million euros to keep developing the brand, increase production capacity and its international presence.

 

USA, 11 June 2019.- In a judgement  the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) determined today that the imports of quartz surfaces from China would NOT be to retroactive anti-dumping and counterveiling duties. The judgement has come as a huge relief to the American distributors. USITC also determined that quartz from China is subsidized and sold at less than fair value, which means the US government will impose anti-dumping and counterveiling duties on quartz imports from China. In practical terms this means that the approximately $500 million quartz exports business from China to US is finished for now.

 

USA, 9 May, 2019.-  Even though the American economy is booming and construction activity in the country may well be at the highest level ever, all of a sudden there is tremendous nervousness, uneasiness and uncertainty among those working in the US stone industry. A very large part of the industry works with imported materials, be it natural stone or quartz. Apart from the possible consequences of countervailing duties related to quartz imports from China (see earlier news item), now it seems that perhaps even more shocks lie ahead. The American quartz company, Cambria, has filed a petition to the US government asking for antidumping and countervailing duties  to be imposed on quartz surfaces from Turkey and India. Moreover, there are now reports of public hearings taking place soon on whether high duties should be imposed on quartz surfaces and granite from the European Union. Strangely,marble and otjer limestone is not included. (Granite exports from EU to USA amount to almost 150 million euros and quartz exports are around 200 million euros).A massive disruption in supplies could take place soon in the industry if these measures take effect. Not only could all kinds of projects in USA, big or small, currently being executed, be severely affected in terms of meeting deadlines and being within projected budgets due to disruption in supplies and possible bankruptcies declared by American companies, the risk for foreign suppliers, be they of any kind of stone, of not getting paid, is now very high.

 

USA,May,2019.- The high tariffs on quartz imports in USA from China may well end up, in an indirect way, having devastating negative secondary consequences for the natural stone suppliers. The US government is now imposing duties on the American quartz importers, with retroactive effect, on imports 90 days prior to the imposition of tariffs from 1 December, 2018, and these are arounf  300 to 500%, depending on the company, citing the clause of "critical circumstance". Coalitions of Amercian importers have gone to court on this matter. Hearings are scheduled soon and a verdict is expected in June. If these duties become definite, in practical terms there is a very high probability of several American companies declaring bankruptcy and this would mean, among several other consequences, that their foreign natural stone suppliers will not get paid. A frightening prospect indeed, since a  very large part of exports to US are made without guarantees,

 

April, 2019.- The Cosentino Group reached a turnover of Euros 984.5 million with EBITDA (earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization) of Euros143 million in the financial year 2018.

 

April, 2019.- Mr Paras Kumar Jain has been appointed the CEO of Pokarna Engineering Stone Ltd, the whole owned subsidiary of Pokarna Limited as of 1 April, 2019.

 

March, 2019.- LAPITEC has been awarded the first prize in design iF DESIGN AWARD 2019 with the colour Nero Assoluto, which was given in the section'Product' within the category 'Innovative Product'. The award for design iF DESIGN AWARD 2019 recognises the value of full mass sintered stone. iF International Forum Design Gmbh, the oldest independent organization dedicated to design, organizes every year the iF DESIGN AWARD.

Lapitec_Nero_Assoluto copia.jpg

 

February, 2019.- The tariffs by the US government on quartz from China is creating a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the market. American importers had started stocking quartz from China in huge quantities last year in anticipation of the tariffs, but had hoped the trade wars would end in early 2019. As of mid-February it seems possible the tariffs may continue for longer period of time, and now the American buyers are wondering what to stock up on. In the mean time, Chinese quartz manufacturers are flooding the markets of the rest of the world with low price offers. Many businessmen in other countries who, spotting an opportunity, started planning on setting up new quartz factories, but many are now having second thoughts, unwilling to take risk in such an uncertain environment.

 

Valencia, Spain, February, 2019.- The main novelty in the annual Cevisama fair, held in Valencia( Spain) from 28 January to 1 February this year, was the greater presence of big format porcelain slabs manufactured by different companies with a special emphasis on the application in the kitchen.

In terms of visitors, as expected, there were a large number of Spanish interior designers and architects. The exceptionally cold weather in North America was probably a factor for less visitors from that continent, but the presence of visitors from all over Europe kept the exhibitors busy. Notable was the much reduced presence of buyers from the Middle East, a consequence of the currently weak construction activity in the Gulf area. 

 

January,2019.- The South Korean company, Lotte Advanced Materials, has recently acquired the Turkish engineered stone company, Belenco, which manufactures quartz under the brand name Radianz.

 

January,2019.- The Cosentino group presented Dekton slabs of big format in 4mm thickness during the Cevisama fair in Valencia end of January.

 

January, 2019.- The high import tariffs imposed on quartz from China by the US government as part of the "trade wars" currently taking place has meant that new factories are being set up in other countries. In India, for example, an estimated 30 new factories for quartz are under construction, in different parts of the country. Most should be ready by end of 2019. While it is hard to estimate new production capacity at this stage, it will easily exceed 1 million sqm per year. 

 

December, 2018.- The frenetic pace of technological innovation in the ceramics industry continues (apart from new production coming into the market of big format porcelain slabs on a huge scale). Just during the second half of the year 3 mm thin slabs of porcelain have now become hugely popular among prescribers due to their lightness, ease in handling, etc. apart from maintaining the other characteristics such as strength.

 

November 23th, 2018.- The Spanish company Compac took part in the Boutique Design  New York where it presented its range of surfaces, specially the latest collections Ice of Genesis and Unique Collection. Boutique Design New York, which this year completes its nineth edition, and is held in Jacob K Convention Centre, brings together every year interior designers, architects, builders and manufacturers and commercial companies in the hospitality sector.

COMPAC AT BDNY 2018 31.jpgCOMPAC AT BDNY 2018 2.jpg

 

November 5th, 2018- The company Compac has recently presented its new range of quartz collections in its new showroom in the United States in Aventura (Florida) in an event attended mostly by architects and interior designers. The two collections, Ice of Genesis and Unique Collection, are available in big format(330 x 163 cm). The Ice of Genesis, a collection created in collaboration with Arik Levy, is inspired by the glaciers in the Artic Ocean while the Unique Collection comes in different shapes and two finishes.

COMPAC Aventura b copia.jpg

 

 

October , 2018.- The Spanish company Neolith inaugurated its new stockyard in Novelda (Alicante) on 25 October with the presence of around 300 people, mostly stone industry people from the neighbouring area.

neolith1.jpgneolith2.jpg

 

 

October 2018.- According to the Spanish association of Tile and Ceramic Pavement Manufacturers, ASCER, the tendencies in designs seen during the recent fair CERSAIE, held in Bologne (Italy)  last September, have moved towards geometric forms and a return to colour, harking back to the aesthetic of the 80s in the last century. The combining of different textures has been another trend, along with the highly polished surfaces inspired in marble and ceramics in marble look and black stone.

cerámica geometria_0.jpgcerámica texturas_0.jpg

ceramica piedra negra.jpg

 

October,  2018.- One consequence of the high tariffs on Chinese quartz imports to USA is that American buyers are now desperately looking for alternative suppliers. Indian quartz manufacturers are,all of a sudden,flooded with orders. At least 10 new factories are expected to come soon. The same American buyer who would pay his granite slab suppliers after several months is now willing to pay a deposit upfront to assure supplies.

 

August,2018.- All the noise regarding tariffs on imports of Chinese quartz by the US government has had some side effects. For example, many American importers are  now shifting from China to other countries like India for their suppliers of quartz slabs. It remains to be seen to what extent suppliers from other countries can really substitute China, which accounted for almost US$ 500 million of quartz to USA in 2017.

 

July,2018.- The quartz manufacturer Caesarstone Ltd has appointed a new CEO, Mr Yuval Dogim. 

 

June,2018.- In recent years the ceramic industry, now undergoing through an unprecedented innovation phase due to technological improvements in different aspects of production and end products, has caught the attention of investment funds, which have invested in major companies in Italy and also in Spain, till now family owned. How the structure of the industry will change in the medium term, with the industry becoming more and more capital intensive, requiring huge investments in production lines, logistics and marketing, is now becoming the favourite topic of social conversations in the industry.

 

June,2018.-  Most people in the ceramic industry would easily be able to calculate the annual production of a factory. But what is the total production of the vast ceramic industry in the world? Official organisations and associations have calculated it to annual figure of around 13 billion sqm.

 

June, 2018.-  NEOLITH has recently opened a showroom in one of the most upmarket area of Madrid in Barrio Salamanca in the street Pasaje de Enrique Ruano, as a way of being closer to the end customer. The showroom displays a wide range of NeoLith colours and its applications.

showrrom neolith.jpg

 

June, 2018.- The data available from US customs for the first 3 months of 2018 reveals that for the first time ever the import of quartz surfaces was higher than that of processed granite. Worked granite accounted for US$ 195 million in the first 3 months (Brazil being the biggest supplier) while that of quartz it was US$ 252 million, with China being the biggest supplier. (Source: StoneUpdate).

 

June, 2018.-  The COSENTINO GROUP plans to instal the biggest solar energy installation for self consumption in the industrial park of Cantoria (Almería, Spain). The capacity being planned is between 10 to 40 photovoltaic megawatts and is expected to be ready around 2020.