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Upward trend continues for Spanish glaze sector

September 2021

The Spanish frit, glaze and ceramic colour producers have continued their positive performance.  As reported by the sector’s trade association ANFFECC, revenues in the second quarter of the current year reached Euro 417 million (up 11.5% compared to the first quarter of 2021), including Euro 131.8 million generated in the Spanish market (+12.5%), and Euro 285.3 million earned from exports (+11.1%).  The sector’s growth was driven by the excellent performance of the Spanish ceramic industry as well as increased demand in markets such as Italy, Algeria, India, Turkey, Morocco, and Brazil.

Despite the positive market outlook, the sector is concerned about excessive increases in the costs of raw materials, energy, transport and CO2 emission allowances, which are already having a significant impact on the sector’s profitability.  According to ANFFECC, in addition to record high electricity prices, other energy sources such as natural gas have also risen by more than 25%.  Several key raw materials have seen even bigger price increases since the beginning of 2021: lithium compounds +200%; tin oxide +100%; wollastonite and cobalt oxide +75%; praseodymium and zirconium, titanium and iron oxides and barium carbonate between +40% and +50%.

Increases in the cost of maritime transport (+50% in the Mediterranean and more than +300% on the Asian route) are also affecting raw materials supplies and exports of the Spanish glaze, frit and colour producers, while increases in the cost of pallets and packaging (between +100 and +150%) are another cause for concern.

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