In 2018, the U.S. imported 2.20 billion sq. ft. of ceramic tile, up 4.7% from 2017. 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 versus. 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% ) and Brazil (7.3%).
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.
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.
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 went to Canada (79.6%) and Mexico (4.5%).
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