The final 2016 figures for ceramic tile export volumes from the People’s Republic of China, the world’s largest exporter, reveal a significant fall for the third year running towards all major geographical regions with the exception of Oceania, where sales rose by just over 2 million sq. metres, mainly to Australia.
Overall, China saw a fresh contraction in its tile exports of almost 63 million sq. metres in 2016 (-5.9%), the largest falls being in Africa (-14), the Americas particularly Mexico (-11.3%) and Asia (-1.3%).
The African country that saw the biggest fall in Chinese imports was Nigeria, with a contraction of 37 million sq. metres of exports; while the area of Asia to experience the most significant decline was the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia (-23%) and the United Arab Emirates (-14.5%). Chinese exports to these two countries fell by a total of around 20 million sq. metres.
However, there remains a hard core of Asian countries where Chinese tile exports are growing rapidly, namely the Philippines, South Korea, Indonesia and Pakistan. Chinese imports to these countries exceeded 220 million sq. metres in 2016, with growth rates consistently higher than 20% a year.
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