The Tile Council of North America, Inc. (TCNA) has published its 2017 U.S. Ceramic Tile Industry Update, and the news is nearly all positive. The general economy, construction market, housing market, interest rates and unemployment rate have all contributed to a productive year, surpassing 3 billion sq. ft. for the first time in 11 years. At 3.05 billion sq. ft., total consumption rose by 5.1 percent over the previous year and the fourth highest it’s been in history.
U.S. Tile Shipments
Domestic tile shipments increased by 4.1 percent in 2017, setting a new record of 946.5 million sq. ft. This marks the eighth straight year of growth, and the rise is being attributed to new production facilities for ceramic tile in Tennessee.
Tile manufactured in the U.S. is the most popular choice in the domestic market with 31.1 percent of the share, followed by China at 21.6 percent, Mexico at 13.1 percent and Italy coming in at 12.4 percent.
The value of FOB factory sales was also up by 6.1 percent, setting a record at $1.43 billion. By the value metric, U.S. tile accounted for 39.3 percent of the domestic market with Italy coming in second with a 20.5 percent share.
Total tile imports are much higher than U.S. tile shipments, making up 68.6 percent of domestic consumption. Imports were up in 2017 by 5.6 percent to 2.10 billion sq. ft. China has been the largest exporter of ceramic tile since overtaking Mexico in 2015, and Chinese tile accounted for 31.3 percent of U.S. imports.
The next four largest exporters are as follows:
- Mexico – 18.9 percent
- Italy – 18.1 percent
- Spain – 11.7 percent
- Turkey – 6.2 percent
The only bad news from TCNA Tile Industry Update is that U.S. ceramic tile exports fell by 21.3 percent to 28.5 million sq. ft.