A mainly positive report for the latest month available, especially with granite and marble. Travertine is a bit moribund, while slate and other calcareous still work out recovery strategies.

The following  is based on data collected by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission and computed/analyzed by Stone Business. All figures give are for April 2010 (change from April 2009 amounts in parentheses). “Worked” stone is material that’s been shorn from boulders and blocks, and then cut in standard dimensional measures (such as slabs and tiles) and polished.

em hed shot 2 120Worked Granite Value
Total: $77.7 million (23.9%)
Sector leader: Brazil @ $30.6 million (69.0%)
Backfill: Granite continues its recovery from the first part of 2009 – one of the worst swoons ever. India shows a nice 37% gain from April 2009; China takes a small stumble down 11.7%, but its $16.2 million easily gives it second place in value among importers..

Worked Granite Volume

Total: 153,235 metric tons (48.25%)
Sector leader: Italy @ 41,833 metric tons (801.2%)
Backfill: Here’s where the news is either way too good to be relevant, or there’s a month’s aberration. Italy hasn’t seen total volumes like that since June 2008, and that month didn’t fit in with the rest of the year. Brazil slowed its flow to the United States, with its 37,916 metric tons showing a 17.4% drop from April 2009.

Worked Marble Value
Total: $15.5 million (4.7%)
Sector leader: Italy @ $6.6 million (2.4%)
Backfill: Italy continues to top the value charts as far as slab/tile marble, with China a distant second at $3.5 million. There’s plenty of reshuffling down the pack; Spain’s $1.7 million is more than double April 2009’s total, while Greece’s $474,726 is a 54.1% tumble.

Worked Marble Volume
Total: 13.964 metric tons (5.4%) (Editor's note: corrected on Dec. 10, 2010)
Sector leader: China @ 4,333 metric tons (10.7%)
Backfill: China remains the tonnage leader in worked marble, albeit in a somewhat sluggish month compared to earlier this year. Spain’s 2,044 metric tons is a peppy 113.4% ahead of April 2009; Greece took a 25.9% hit at 306 metric tons.