Brazilian tile manufacturers look to U.S. for new market segments
The Brazilian Association of Ceramic Tile Manufacturers (ANFACER) and five associated companies (Cecrisa/Portinari, Portobello, Inti, Gyotoku and Eliane) recently took part in the 2009 ARC-INTERIORS business meetings, held Sept. 24-27 in Miami Beach, FL.
According to ANFACER, this forum has become one of the most important events involving manufacturers and interior designers, and is attended by the 100 largest design offices in the U.S.
Through its data, ANFACER found that the U.S. is currently the main destination for Brazilian ceramic tiles. Over the last 12 years, it has imported 14,216 million square meters, generating more than US$74 million in business deals. Currently, a great portion of the volume exported from Brazil goes to the American residential market, served by retailers, distributors and stores specializing in floor and wall coverings. The residential construction segment has been hit particularly hard by the crisis of the two past years, and, according to the Association’s estimates, it should record a 33% fall in the constructed area volumes as compared to 2008 – from 146 million to 99 million square meters – and a 31% drop in invested dollars – from US$162 million to US$112 million.
“The American commercial construction segment has experienced a smaller decrease in activities as compared to the residential segment. The strong performance of architecture and interior design offices hired by medium-sized and large companies is drawing the attention of the major ceramic tile companies to new markets,” explains Lauro Andrade Filho, director of ANFACER and EXPO REVESTIR (International Coverings Trade Show), and attended the Miami Beach event last week.
ANFACER further concluded that today’s American commercial segment may be divided into seven construction subgroups:
- Stores and Shopping Malls
- Office Buildings
- Hotels and Motels
- Industrial Facilities
- Educational Institution Buildings
- Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities
- Other Buildings.
“Due to legal and technical responsibility issues, the professionals who take part in the business meetings of ARC-INTERIORS have decision-making authority over the specification and subsequent purchase of materials for construction of hotels, shopping malls, hospitals, subways, stores, office buildings, industrial facilities and others, and this is why it is becoming increasingly important for them to build a close relationship with Brazilian ceramics manufacturers,” Andrade Filho concluded.