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The global natural stone and marble market size was valued at USD 48.80 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 51.76 billion in 2022 to USD 68.06 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.0% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 32.2% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Natural stones have been used for long in the building and construction sector along with other monumental and decorative applications. Historically, the market is driven by the developed countries of Europe and North America, but today the market is dominated by Asia Pacific. Natural aesthetics and excellent durability are the main driving factors of the global construction sector's adoption of natural stone and marble.
Companies supplying natural stones are considering investing in production capacity expansion to safeguard future challenges. For instance, in March 2022, Dermitzakis Bros S.A. completed the first phase of its new stone factory in Drama. With the production capacity expansion, the company is aiming to strengthen its position in Europe and international markets.
Downturn in Public and Private Construction Activities Hindered the Global Market
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted nearly all industries, including the natural stones industry. The stone industry plunged due to lockdown restrictions, social distancing norms, and mainly halt on construction activities throughout the world. Delays in completion of construction projects were followed by increased project costs & reduced margins. Thus, construction enterprises at all levels faced severe challenges in terms of liquidity. Limited or no transportation of stones from quarries to the processing sites or the construction sites negatively impacted the entire supply chain of the stone industry. During the progression of COVID-19, the disrupted operations in quarries led to undefined stone production, which further declined the resilience of the entire supply chain. Thus, the downturn in construction activities significantly reduced demand for all types of stones. However, due to the combination of relief packages and mitigation strategies applied by leading entities in the construction & stone industry, the market indicated signs of recovery in 2021 and is projected to indicate slow but steady growth during the forecast period.
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Use of Luxurious Natural Stones in Decorative Applications to Support the Market Growth
Adopting natural building materials is gaining momentum due to increased construction sector sustainability. Consumers are willing to pay more for natural and long-lasting looks of natural stone and marble. There is also rising demand for expensive natural stones, such as White Statuario marble, from premium consumers. These products are prominently used for decorative purposes in luxury buildings, home remodeling, and renovation activities. For instance, holiday homes in the Greek island of Mykonos are being decorated with whitewashed stones for the luxury feel. The bright colors and vein patterns are very popular in the market. Due to the high popularity of these stones, the demand is likely to stay strong over the forecast period. Moreover, many customers prefer white color. The exterior residential applications of natural stone & marble are thus, on the rise.
Growing Demand from Construction Industry to Foster Growth
As per the Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics report on Global Construction 2030, the U.S. and Indian construction industries are expected to grow faster than China’s construction industry. The global construction volume is expected to grow by around 85% by 2030. The building and construction industry is the largest consumer of natural stone and marble. Rapid urbanization and industrialization have resulted in a huge surge in the consumption of these materials in developing countries. China and India have emerged as top exporters of these products. India exports most of its granite produce to China. China largely processes the imported granite and re-exports the processed products to other parts of the world.
An increase in the global population and improvement in the earning capacity of the consumers have warranted the rise in demand for housing and other infrastructural growth. Furthermore, with growing urbanization and rapid industrialization, the number of high-rise buildings and commercial complexes has also expanded considerably. Natural stones play a vital role in improving the aesthetic appeal of the building's interior. Natural stone products are more durable than any other artificial products, and they last for many decades with very little maintenance. Also, countertops made with these stones provide functional benefits in key spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms, and others. The increasing interest of house owners in stone wall claddings has also created a positive environment for the market growth.
Increasing Adoption of Artificial Stone to Hamper Growth
Though the demand for natural stone and marble is rising, artificial concrete blocks and ceramic tiles have a huge demand over natural stones. Besides, they are cheap, making them an attractive option in countries with low disposable income, thus affecting the growth of the natural stones market. The glazed surface of ceramic tiles makes them waterproof and stain-resistant as well as tough. As a result, they remove the need for any additional layer of sealer.
On the other hand, natural stones are porous, which means a sealant is required to be applied periodically so that the pores are filled and water & stain resistance is achieved. But, the cost factor is the most pronounced out of all the pros and cons. Premium customers, who prefer luxury and natural looks, readily choose natural stone and marble.
Innovative technologies in alternative products such as ceramic and LVT categories allow manufacturers to offer very realistic stone visuals at a fraction of the cost of natural stone. These hard surfaces are challenging the growth of the stone industry. However, ceramic and LVT products are generally used in floor applications, leaving a big opportunity to install natural stone & marble in vertical settings.
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Large Demand in Asia Led Granite Segment to Dominate the Global Market
In 2021, granite occupied a large portion of the global natural stone and marble market share. Granite is a widely adopted stone for construction applications, such as kitchen countertops, exterior wall claddings, and bathroom tiles, due to its excellent durability. Granite is a largely available building material at a cheap cost, which meets the functional requirements such as heat resistance, scratch resistance, and stain resistance and is aesthetically appealing. Thus, the segment is expected to lead the market in the future.
The extensive use of limestone in road bases, railroad ballast, foundation stone, drain fields, concrete aggregate, and other construction applications is driving the segment growth. Biophilic design, marble kitchen countertops, countless shades, and fluted finishes are among the newest trends in the luxury marble market. In the interior design industry, marble has been a popular choice for countertops for a long time due to its long-lasting beauty and durability and the large range of patterns & colors. Slate is common on kitchen and bathroom floors, where it offers waterproof properties as well as an opulent appearance. Exterior use is one of the fastest-growing applications for slate as slate tiles are resistant to thaw and freeze cycles. Other product types include key natural stones such as soapstone, travertine, and onyx. Each of these stones finds application in the construction industry is also becoming popular due to their excellent physical characteristics and natural beauty.
Building & Construction Segment held the Largest Market Share in 2021 Owing to Wider Applications
The market is dominated by the building & construction segment, with over 68% share in terms of value. Residential buildings are the major contributors to the growth of this segment in this market. Stones are reliable building materials and can be used in different ways. Heavy engineering projects such as bridge piers, breakwaters, and other structures use fine-grained granite. For masonry work in industrial regions exposed to smoke and gasses, granite and compact sandstones are used. Building facades are made of marble, granite, and sandstone. For common construction, limestone and sandstone are employed. For fire-resistant construction, compact limestone and sandstone are employed. However, granite and quartzite stones are employed in foundations in areas with high groundwater levels. Floor paving is made of marble, slate, sandstone, and granite. Thus, wider applications in the construction industry are fueling segment growth in this market.
The monumental segment is the fastest-growing segment in the market due to the increase in the construction of monuments across the world, especially in Asia Pacific. In August 2020, the Bangladesh Government announced plans to construct a war memorial for Indian soldiers martyred during the 1971 war. Likewise, there are many monumental activities proposed by regional governments in many countries, which are likely to boost the growth of the monumental segment. Other natural stone applications include stone furniture and decorative items. Stone furniture is becoming popular to enhance exterior house beauty in gardens. Natural stone bench, garden set, outdoor bench, garden table, stone dining & coffee tables, and other furniture are manufactured with stones. In a similar manner, natural stones are used to create architecturally decorative showpieces due to their excellent durability and aesthetic appeal. Though this segment held the smallest share in this market, it is projected to indicate significant growth in the future due to an increasing consumer base for the same around the world.
Asia Pacific Natural Stone and Marble Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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The market size in Asia Pacific was USD 28.15 billion in 2021. China holds the major share in the regional market, backed by higher demand from the construction industry, followed by India. China and India globally are the leading manufacturers of natural stones. At a global level, China and India together accounted for more than 40% share of natural stone production. These countries largely export their products to all key consuming countries. They are experiencing propelling demand for stones due to heavy spending on commercial & residential buildings by the government & private sector. Japan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia are significantly contributing to the natural stone and marble market growth. Flooring, countertops, and wall claddings remain the largest applications of natural stones in the region throughout the forecast period. Owing to the rising emphasis of western culture on emerging economies, the demand for natural stones in memorial applications is also expected to increase in the near future.
In 2021, Europe accounted for the second-largest share of the global market. Western European countries, such as Italy, Germany, and France, account for most of the regional market. Further, eastern and central European countries also contribute to the market growth due to growth in renovation activities. However, stringent environmental regulation imposed on sourcing and using natural building materials is a key challenge for small companies to grow in this market. From July 2013, it became a legally mandated obligation for natural stone products used in construction and covered by harmonized European standards to have a Declaration of Performance (DoP) and be CE Marked.
In North America, the U.S. is the prime market for all-natural stones, backed by a well-established commercial & residential construction industry. Higher consumer spending on refurbishment or remodeling activities is driving the market growth in the country. According to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, the house remodeling industry grew by 7.6% in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. Government spending on infrastructure projects is also expected to push the demand for natural stones in construction applications. As per the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, USD 1.2 trillion infrastructure plan passed in November 2021 featured USD 110 billion for bridge and road building and repair as well as transportation research and other initiatives.
In the Middle East, the rising emphasis on natural stones through International Stone Events plays a vital role in strengthening the natural stone market growth and supply chains. For instance, ‘Middle East Stone’ is the largest annual trade exhibition in the Middle East dedicated to the stone industry. The event features the most innovative natural stone, ceramic products and tiles, and installation & maintenance solution providers from more than 30 countries. In Africa, the rising middle-class population, disposable income, and improved urbanization are the main driving factors for construction. South Africa, Nigeria, and Ethiopia are showcasing considerable growth in the construction market, fueling the adoption of natural stone for flooring, cladding, kitchen countertops, and bathroom applications.
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In Latin America, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Columbia are the most vibrant and fastest-growing markets for natural stones. Brazil dominated the local market in 2021. The country is projected to lead the market as it has become a hub for producing many natural stones, including granite, marble, soapstone, and others. Also, increasing export to the U.S. is creating a healthy competitive environment among local players and supporting the market growth.
Leading Operating Players Focused to Acquire Local Suppliers and Aiding Production Capacity
The global market is highly fragmented as natural stone resources are unevenly spread worldwide. Turkey, Brazil, India, China, and Italy have large reserves of natural stones. The quality of the reserve and stone decides the cost of the product. Also, modern technologies enhance the production of high-quality products. Producers in these key countries are significantly increasing their production capacities by investing in quarrying technologies & equipment, acquiring small-scaled stone companies to strengthen their market presence, and marketing their products through social media platforms.
An Infographic Representation of Natural Stone and Marble Market
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This market research report provides both qualitative & quantitative insights on natural stone and marble across the world. Quantitative insights include market sizing in terms of value (USD billion) and volume (kilo tons) across each segment, sub-segment, and region profiled in the scope of the study. Also, it provides market analysis and growth rates of segment, sub-segment, and key counties across each region. Qualitative insight covers an elaborative global industry analysis of key market drivers, restraints, growth opportunities, and market trends related to the market. The competitive landscape section covers detailed company profiling of the key players operating in the industry.
Volume (Kilo Tons), Value (USD Billion)
By Product Type, Application, and Geography
By Product Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 48.80 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 68.06 billion by 2029.
Growing at a CAGR of 4.0%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period.
Building & construction is expected to lead the market during the forecast period.
Increasing demand for the countertop, wall cladding, furniture and other applications is the key driver for the market.
Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2021.
China accounted for the largest market share in 2021.
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