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Maturity always sounds like a great thing ... until you get there.
The U.S. dimensional-stone market may face that feeling in 2007, according to mid-year import statistics, with demand leveling off with either oh-so-slight growth or a small decline among various stone types.

Read more: Mid-2007 - A Level Market?

By Emerson Schwartzkopf

  Maybe, just maybe, the dimensional-stone roller coaster is finally cresting the incline, and the steady growth of imports will give way to some exciting ups-and-downs before settling down on a nice, flat track.
  The reality, in the first half of 2006: fat, fat chance.

Read more: Mid-Year 2006: More and... More

CARRARA, Italy – Dimensional-stone exports from Italy grew slightly in volume
and higher in value during the first quarter of 2006, according to a report from
Internazionale Marmi e Macchine (IMM).

Read more: Italian Exports Up in Early 2006

By Emerson Schwartzkopf
Is the
U.S. dimensional-market slowing down?
Looking
at overall import data for natural stone from last year, the quick answer is yes. The longer answer is, well, it’s complicated.
And, using the term slow in the current stone market isn’t as dire as it sounds. The 20.7-percent rise in imported stone value in 2005 over the previous year is a nice bit of growth – it’s just not as good as the year before.
The $2.8 billion in stone that passed through
U.S. entry ports marks yet another record, and the $3 billion mark should easily be surpassed this year. The outlook remains bright, although it’s worth watching those small clouds forming in the blue sky.


Read more: Import Trends 2005: A Touch of Caution?

By Emerson Schwartzkopf
 
In 1996, the dimensional stone industry looked pretty good with more than $500 million in imports, but it might’ve been hard to get anyone to wager that, nine years later, that figure would double. Anything beyond that would be a sucker bet.

Read more: Import Trends 2004 A Factor of Two