A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Munich, Germany, between Confindustria Ceramica, the Italian association of ceramic manufacturers, and Bundesverband Keramische Rohstoffe und Industrieminerale, BKRI— the German association of producers of raw materials for ceramics and industrial minerals.

The agreement, which has been signed at Ceramitec, an international fair for the sector of ceramics and raw materials, calls for an increase of minerals, namely clay, to the Italian ceramic industry of up to +10% by the end of August and up to +30 % by December 2022.

The dramatic events in Ukraine have prompted the Italian and German associations to strengthen their partnership, the groups said. 

The Italian ceramic tile industry has been importing about one million tons per year of German minerals, and, in particular, clay, for many years. The raw material is transported predominantly by rail, with dedicated trains, which also ensures that the environmental impacts associated with such a mode of transportation are contained.

Present at the meeting were BKRI’s Chairman Guido Faber and Mario Roncaglia, chairman of the transport and raw materials commission of Confindustria Ceramica, accompanied by the associations' general directors Matthias Schlotmann and Armando Cafiero. The meeting was also attended by representatives of DB Cargo, as well as by the Italian consul general in Munich, Minister Plenipotentiary Enrico De Agostini.

Integral to the Memorandum of Understanding, which is endorsed by 20 companies of the two associations, is a commitment on both sides to work together so that the current critical conditions on the Germany-Italy rail route can quickly find with DB Cargo the proper operational solutions and/or alternatives. The groups said there is an urgent need to resolve these logistic issues in order to ensure continuity of the planned flows and the planned increases.