2018 U.S. Ceramic Tile Industry Update from TCNA

U.S. Tile Consumption Overview:
Total U.S. ceramic tile consumption for 2018 was 3.11 billion sq. ft., up 1.5% vs. 2017.1
The following table shows U.S. tile shipments, imports, exports, and total consumption in thousands of sq. ft.
Year US Shipments (incl. Exports) Imports Exports Total Consumption* Consumption
 Change vs. Previous Year
2018 940,300 2,196,935 29,746 3,107,489 1.5%
2017
990,972
2,099,307 28,492
3,061,787
5.7%
2016 945,245 1,987,929 36,198 2,896,977 5.8%
2015 897,943 1,881,051 40,718 2,738,276 9.9%
2014 816,050 1,711,571 36,996 2,490,624 0.5%
*Note: U.S. Shipments + Imports – Exports
The chart below shows total U.S. consumption of ceramic tile (in sq. ft.) over the last several years.

 

Imports:

 
In 2018 the U.S. imported 2.20 billion sq. ft. of ceramic tile, up 4.7% from 2017 (2.10 billion sq. ft.).2
Imports comprised 70.7% of 2018 U.S. tile consumption in sq. ft., up from 68.6% in 2017.
China remained the largest exporter of ceramic tile to the U.S. (in sq. ft.), a position it has held each year since 2015. Chinese imports made up 31.5% of U.S. imports (in sq. ft.) in 2018, the highest annual percentage China has ever held of the U.S. import market. The 10% tariff increase on Chinese ceramic tile imports imposed by the Trump administration took effect at the end of Sept., but it is unlikely this will have any meaningful impact on China’s market position.
Despite the peso’s significant decline vs. the U.S. dollar over the last five years, losing nearly half of its value, Mexican ceramic tile exports to the U.S. have fallen each year since 2015. In 2018 tile from Mexico comprised 17.3% of U.S. imports (in sq. ft.), their lowest share since 2006.
Italy was the third largest exporter of tile to the U.S. in 2018, making up 16.4% of U.S. imports (in sq. ft.), down from 18.1% in 2017. The next largest exporters to the U.S. were Spain (14.1% import share) and Brazil (7.3%).
The five countries from which the most tiles were imported in 2018 based on sq. ft. were:
Country
Sq. Ft. 2018
Sq. Ft. 2017
2018/2017
% Change
2017/2016
% Change
China
692,147,717
657,563,014
5.3% 12.7%
Mexico
379,093,644 397,514,645 -4.6% -14.4%
Italy
360,060,284 378,957,771 -5.0% -1.7%
Spain
310,208,579
244,858,241 26.7% 32.8%
Brazil
159,575,661 111,176,480 43.5% 12.0%

 

On a dollar basis (CIF + duty) Italy remained the largest exporter to the U.S. in 2018, comprising 30.9% of U.S. imports. China was second with a 27.3% share, and Spain was third with a 15.6% share.
The five countries from which the most tiles were imported in 2018 based on total U.S. $ value (including duty, freight, and insurance) were:
Country Total Val 2018 Total Val 2017 2018/2017
% Change
2017/2016
% Change
Italy 709,898,735
747,819,530
-5.1%
-0.4%
China 626,339,930
589,660,075
6.2% 13.8%
Spain 359,297,060
307,444,773
16.9% 25.2%
Mexico 230,421,036
220,463,848
4.5% -16.9%
Turkey 108,526,735
117,440,187
-7.6% 8.9%
All Countries 2,298,042,045
2,218,153,090
3.6% 5.7%
 The average values of tile4 (including duty, freight, and insurance) from the five countries from which the most tiles were imported (based on sq. ft.) in 2018 were:

 

Country Sq. Ft. 2018 Total $ Val 2018 Value per
Sq. Ft. 2018
Value per
Sq. Ft. 2017
China 692,147,717 626,339,930 $0.90 $0.90
Mexico 379,093,644 230,421,036 $0.61 $0.55
Italy 360,060,284 709,898,735 $1.97 $1.97
Spain
310,208,579
359,297,060 $1.16 $1.26
Brazil 159,575,661 101,396,208 $0.64
$0.70
All Countries 2,196,934,718 2,298,042,045
$1.05 $1.06

U.S. Shipments:

 
U.S. shipments (less exports) in 2018 were 911 million sq. ft., down 5.4% from 2017. This marks the first year-over-year decline in domestic shipments since 2009.
In 2018 domestically-produced tile accounted for 29.3% of all U.S. tile consumption in sq. ft., followed by China (22.3%), Mexico (12.2%), and Italy (11.6%).
In dollar value 2018 U.S. FOB factory sales of domestic shipments were $1.39 billion, down 4.4% vs. 2017 ($1.45 billion). Domestically-produced tile comprised 37.7% of total U.S. tile consumption by dollar value.
The per unit value of domestic shipments increased from $1.51 sq. ft. in 2017 to $1.53 sq. ft. in 2018.5

Exports:

U.S. ceramic tile exports in 2018 were 29.7 million sq. ft., up 4.4% vs. 2017. The lion’s share of these exports were to our North American neighbors, Canada (79.6%) and Mexico (4.5%).6

Economic Highlights:

 

New Home Starts

Total new home starts increased for the ninth consecutive year and were at their highest annual level since 2007. The estimated 1.25 million units started in 2018 represented a 3.9% increase from the previous year.
Even with this consistent growth, there is still a long way to go to achieve pre-recession levels, as 2018 starts were off 40% from 2005, when there were nearly 2.1 million starts.7

New Single Family Home Sales

New single family home sales were at their highest level in more than a decade. The 619,000 units sold in 2018 represented a 1.0% increase from 2017.
While new home sales have steadily increased each of the last seven years and have more than doubled since 2011, in 2018 they were less than half of what they were in 2005, when a record 1.28 million new single-family units were sold.8

Foreclosures

U.S. foreclosure filings, a key inverse indicator of the residential market’s health, fell for the eighth straight year. The 625,000 filings (0.47% of all U.S. housing units) in 2018 represented a 7.7% decrease from 2017.
This was the lowest annual total of foreclosures since 2005 and was a 78.2% decrease from the all-time high level of 2.9 million filings in 2010.9

 

 

 

________________________________
1 U.S. Dept. of Commerce & Tile Council of North America
2 U.S. Dept. of Commerce
3 U.S. Dept. of Commerce
4 The average value is significantly affected by the mix of tiles imported, with different types of tiles impacting the average value, in addition to  differences in pricing for the same types of tile.
5 Tile Council of North America
6 U.S. Dept. of Commerce
7 U.S. Census Bureau
8 U.S. Census Bureau
9 ATTOM Data Solutions

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