The article covers a variety of factors, including the market size, industry structure, and competitive landscape. Based on a unique methodology, the study draws on official data, market experts' insights, and semi-structured interviews. The article covers the data for the Czech Republic, Austria, and Germany, and offers three possible scenarios for future development. This analysis of European trade in ceramic sanitary ware includes a detailed analysis of the key industry sectors and players.
Italy ranked among the topmost countries that exported ceramic sanitary ware and tiles. It accounted for nearly half of EU imports. This was primarily due to the increasing demand for environmentally friendly products in the EU, as well as the growing market for such items. The two most popular types of sanitary ware in Europe are ceramic and iron/steel. Italy accounts for a significant percentage of the market for ceramic sanitary ware and tile.
Its industry has become a global leader, accounting for about 25% of Europe's total porcelain production. Ceramic sanitary ware makes up about one-third of this total. Industrial equipment produced by Italian companies is the best in the world. Italy's ceramic industry chain is very complete, with the division of labour relatively fine and all links highly developed. This enables it to maintain its position as the world's leading ceramic country.
The demand for ceramic sanitary ware and tiles has increased dramatically in the EU. In 2021, these products accounted for more than 40% of total EU consumption. Due to the cheap supply of such goods, European manufacturers have had to rely on higher-end markets for survival. Increasing exports to countries in Eastern Europe have lowered production costs in those regions and reduced the share of the middle market for Western European manufacturers.
The European market for ceramic dinnerware and sanitary ware is dominated by Germany. The United Kingdom and Spain account for more than a quarter of Germany's production. While the United Kingdom, Spain, and France account for the other two-thirds of the market, German ceramic sanitary ware production is concentrated in developed areas.
According to the latest statistics, France is the second-largest European trader in sanitary ceramic ware. In 2021, China topped the export chart with millions of units, which accounted for 41% of the total market. This year, France increased its exports from $373 million. China surpassed the U.S. in terms of sanitary ceramic ware imports and is expected to be the leading country in the world by 2022.
The French ceramic sanitary ware industry is booming, accounting for nearly a third of the EU market. The country accounts for around 20% of the total market in sanitary ceramics and daily-use ceramic equipment.
According to the latest statistics, Spain is one of the largest importers of ceramic toilet ware in Europe, following France. It imports EUR 489 million worth of sanitary ware annually. The leading suppliers of sanitary ware to Spain are Portugal, China, and Morocco. China and Morocco grew their imports at the fastest rates, while the other leading countries saw mixed trends. The following table shows the top three ceramic sanitary ware suppliers to Spain.
Spain's sanitary ware market was valued at EUR 2 billion, and its ceramic tile market accounted for over 361 million square meters. It is among the largest consumer markets in the EU, accounting for 12% of all consumption. Italy, France, and the new member states of Eastern Europe are the smallest consumers. In total, the market has grown annually. In 2021 Spain was one of the largest importers of ceramic sanitary ware in Europe.
Its trade in sanitary ceramics encompasses a wide variety of products. The ceramic industry in the UK can be broadly divided into three sectors: industrial supplies, building supplies, and construction supplies. Building ceramics is one of the most important aspects of Europe’s industrial exports, and its economic situation in this sector does not restricts any development. The United Kingdom accounts for one-third of the total market for ceramic dinnerware.