The Italian sanitaryware, tableware, refractory materials and brick and roof tile industries (2019)

According to figures released by Confindustria Ceramica for the performance of the four segments in 2019, the sanitaryware sector remained stable, the refractory sector partially maintained the prior year results, while the tableware and brick and roof tile sectors both saw contractions.

The Confindustria Ceramica Annual Members’ Meeting held on 9 June also provided an opportunity to take stock of the 2019 performance of the other four segments of the Italian ceramic industry represented by the trade association besides ceramic tiles.

The ceramic sanitaryware sector (30 companies, including 27 located in the Civita Castellana cluster in the province of Viterbo) remained stable at the previous year’s levels with an output of 4 million pieces (compared to 3.9 million in 2018) and revenue of 338.8 million euros (+0.7%), of which 45% was generated by exports (152.5 million euros). The sector’s employment fell to 2,672 (71 fewer than in 2018).

Refractory materials output fell to 358,700 tons (-9.4%), almost 60% of which was sold on the domestic market. However, the sector’s turnover remained stable at 2018 levels with 407 million euros (+0.4%), of which 216 million euros was generated from Italian domestic sales (down 6.5%) and 191 million euros from exports (+9.6%). In Italy there are currently a total of 32 refractory materials producers with 1,734 employees.

The ceramic tableware sector also saw a contraction in 2019. The 10 companies operating in Italy with a workforce of 655 people reduced their output to 11,600 tons (-12.1%) in response to the sharp decline in sales from 12,800 to 10,000 tons (-21.9%). Sales fell both in the domestic market (7,400 tons, -22%) and in export markets (2,600 tons, -21.2%). The contraction in terms of revenues was smaller, falling to 49.7 million euros (-9.4%).

Finally, the Italian brick and roof tile industry consists of 72 companies and 3,200 employees. The sector began to experience serious difficulties in 2008, since when it has seen a steady decline in production year after year. In 2019, output volumes fell to 4.4 million tons, about half of installed capacity and approximately 80% below pre-crisis production levels. The sector’s turnover totalled 380 million euros.


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