Saturday, 8 August 2015

Ceramic Tiles in America: The Glimpse

America or geographically known as USA, is even in the worst economic times, remained a Financial Superpower. It has the power and the courage to purchase from the world. It is also regarded as the biggest importer of goods. Presenting the total scenario of Ceramic Tiles of USA in one issue which is nearly impossible. However, we will give you some glimpses of the same.

The Consumption Patterns:

In India we largely regard ceramic or mosaic tiles for flooring. However, in the USA, This is a sub sector of floor coverings. IN the USA, most buildings in the past had wooden floorings or rugs put on wooden floorings. People largely avoided HARD FLOORs as they say. This can be due to frosty conditions in mostly during the year or just a simple habit. The tiles thus entered the US mainstream usage very late.

Looking from the information from the year 2001, the year that had close to 2.00 bill sq. ft. of consumption, there was a steady growth in consumption. This growth can be attributed to the growth in the construction industry of the USA.

However, since the housing bubble burst in 2007, the volumes came down sharply. The industry as we know is largely dependent on housing. As 2009 saw a small rise, the same was seen in 2010 and 2011 as rise in sales.

The best part is that import penetration is falling since last 6-7 years rapidly. This is a bright sign for the upcoming ceramic tiles manufacturers as they are taking the lead in the markets.

The leading Countries exporting to USA are Mexico, China followed by Italy, Brazil and Spain. With India becoming a real strong competitor in the last few years. We are sure Indian Ceramic tiles will find a way to the USA markets soon.

There are a number of Ceramic Tiles manufacturers in the USA. They largely supply to the American Market and a part of the production is exported too.

In the last few years, the Manufacturers are strongly taking lead over the importers and most of the consumption in the times to come will be met by the domestic shipments only. This is a great positive sign for America, but a huge challenge for the exporters, largely Mexico and China.

Many of the same issues that have led to the decline in tile consumption over the last five years continue to negatively affect the market, such as: 

      Struggling commercial construction and residential housing markets, despite historically-low mortgage rates

      High unemployment and low housing prices, which lead to less purchasing power for consumers

      Weak economic growth

      Historically low new home sales


India is growing as one of the best manufacturers of Ceramic Tiles. The country will be at par with Spain and Italy in the future. Our biggest strength in the American markets will be our pricing.

The biggest challenge though will be the quality of our products in the American Extreme conditions. From the Cold and Frigid North and East coast, to the High temperate deserts of USA, our tiles should be able to withstand the fluctuating weather.

Secondly, the Indian manufacturers will have to stringently follow the ASTM standards which are accepted in the USA. In the USA, the DIY or Do It Yourself is very popular. The Indians will also have to work out products offerings with a DIY option.

Further, Americans are largely Brand conscious Buyers, so the Manufacturers in India will have to have a heavy branding exercise or tie up with an existing Interior design brand which needs a hard flooring option, namely quality ceramic tiles.

All this form a good opportunity for Indian exporters if thought out strategically.


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