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Granite and slate have an exceptional month. Marble is here and there, travertine gets its growth outside of Turkey, and other calcareous stone still suffers from the Lebanese letdown.

The following is an exclusive Stone Business analysis of data released Jan. 10, 2011, by  the U.S. International Trade Commission. All figures give are for November 2010 (change from November 2009 amounts in parentheses). “Worked” stone is material that’s shorn from boulders and blocks, and then cut in standard dimensional measures (such as slabs and tiles) and polished (at least once, one side).

Total: $81.4 million (27.3%)
Sector leader: Brazil @ $37.5 million (51.3%)

Granite import values in November remain well below the highs of July and August, where totals tickled the $100 million mark. Brazil remains the driver of worked granite’s recovery; China, in second at $16 million for November 2010, improved from the same time in 2009 by a paltry 1.5 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s import values remains well below the Big Four (Brazil, China, India, Italy) but continues to be the surprise of 2010, going from $25, 466 in January to $995,098 in November – its second-best month of the year.

Total: 109,706  metric tons (47.8%)
Sector leader: Brazil @ 58,162 metric tons (87.2%)

Click to enlarge
Backfill: Before breaking out the hats and horns for a great November, it’s fair to note that the comparison – November 2009 – was one of the five lowest months for granite tonnage in the past five years. And, this November’s totals broke a seven-month string of 125,000+ metric tons received.

November, despite its lowered totals, still remains respectable. Of the Big Four, China shows some consistency at 22,238 metric tons, a 9.8-percent increase from November 2009. Saudi Arabia also remains impressive with its 2010 granite volume, going from 20 metric tons in January to 1,263 metric tons in November – again, its second best month of the year.