Business / Economy

Foreign stone traders confident about China market

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-03-08 11:01

XIAMEN - Foreign stone traders' confidence in demand from China is as solid as their products, judging by the mood at the 16th China Xiamen International Stone Fair (CXISF).

Despite concerns over China's slowing economy limiting building work and hitting imports of building materials, Chinese will continue to fork out on stone from marble to granite for use in construction and homes, said delegates at the fair, which opened on Sunday and closes on Wednesday.

There are 47 Brazilian stone companies attending this event, 12 more than in 2015.

Roberta Britto, chair of the Brazilian delegation, said there is still huge demand for stone due to Chinese infrastructure construction and the country's real estate sector.

"This is especially true in home use," Britto said. "Chinese families are more well-off these days and spend more on house decoration, of which stones are an inevitable part."

China is the world's largest stone market and importer. In 2014, China had a total trade volume of 6.8 billion euro ($7.4 billion) in marble and granite, a yearly increase of 4.6 percent, and imported 2.2 billion euro's worth of stone material, up 2.5 percent from 2013, according to Internazionale Marmi e Macchine, a specialist market researcher in Italy.

"I am confident about China's stone market. China has huge demand for stones thanks to many infrastructure projects," said Halil Alimoglu, a stone trader from Turkey, the largest stone supplier to China.

Aimoglu's company had a trade volume of $750 million last year in China. He expects the sales to continue to rise this year.

Lai Guoxiang, general manager of the company that organized CXISF, said fast urbanization in China has continued to drive up demand for stone and that the country remains a very attractive market for foreign traders.

CXISF has covered 180,000 square meters and attracted more than 2,000 enterprises from 56 countries and regions this year, both new records, according to Lai.

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