The exhibition Marmomac 2022 and our MeetUP event, which took place outside the exhibition under the title "from tradition to innovation", has just finished.
A good time to analyse the current situation of the stone market.
As usual, we contacted the management of Marmi Rossi and talked personally to Giovanni Rossi and Mirco Rossi, who, as every year, had direct contact with Italian and foreign customers.
This year we also had a conversation with Claudio Rossi, who follows the stone market behind the sales scene, taking care of the management and administration of the warehouse.
Three important personalities of the company who show us the market trend and tell us how the company event has been received outside the exhibition in Cavaion.
(Giovanni Rossi is talking)
This year, Marmi Rossi was not represented with a booth at Marmomac, what can you tell us about the most important exhibition in the stone sector?
Hard to say how this Marmomac went... Let's say that, although several customers visited us, the purchases did not achieve the hoped-for boom.
This is mainly due to the increased prices of raw material, transport, and energy, but also to the uncertainty about the future and obviously, all these factors make the market of marble, granite, and quartzite less predictable.
In addition to our long-standing, always present customers, some new customers have visited us, too.
Despite the market uncertainty, there are surely material types that sell better than others. Which ones are customers most interested in currently? And which customer type is mainly interested in buying?
Our customers prefer quartzites such as Mont Blanc, Infinity Brown and light types; however, you have to look at quartzite with your own eyes to fully grasp its beauty.
Our Polish customers suffer less from the current economic hardship due to the increased gas prices and higher cost of raw materials: in percentage terms, these customers buy the most our materials.
Right now, we are missing our German customers, who are currently experiencing major economic problems and are reluctant to buy large quantities.
The market of the stone industry: You have already mentioned that the market is currently unstable.
In our last year interview, we talked about your hope for a programmable market for 2022. What can you tell us?
Unfortunately, we are currently experiencing more uncertainty than last year, although we had hoped so much for an improvement, unfortunately it turned out differently...
After Covid, we hoped for a return to normality, but the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war has led to several economic uncertainties that obviously backfired in our stone industry.
Speaking of the stone market: How do you see the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023?
Despite the problems already mentioned, we have quite a lot to do.
However, this can be described as the "long wave" of 2021.
Fortunately, the supply of raw materials, which was very problematic months ago, is slowly returning to normal.
2023? Unfortunately, we are expecting lower sales due to the economy-related market uncertainty.
Back to the MeetUP 2022: This year's theme was all about Canova and innovation.
What does "innovation" mean for Marmi Rossi?
We’ve always paid attention to a healthy environment and therefore try to guarantee energy savings.
As you know, we equipped our company years ago with photovoltaic modules so that we can provide our own energy.
In the coming months, we plan to increase our own energy production and install more photovoltaic modules with a capacity of 250kw.
(Mirco Rossi is talking)
This year, Marmi Rossi didn’t have an exhibition stand at Marmomac 2022, but you experienced the most important world exhibition of the stone industry from your showroom in Cavaion. What can you tell us about the MeetUP 2022?
Many customers have visited us.
Our long-standing customers were there. We’ve been also able to make interesting new contacts with customers from all over Europe (Germany, England, Poland, ...).
Let's talk about the sale: how did it go?
The sale went well: our customers were interested in different types of materials.
In addition to the materials already mentioned by Giovanni, we were able to sell some Donatello, Diorite Green, Titanium Gold, and Patagonia slabs.
Quartzite was generally the best-selling material.
The MeetUP is the moment to reflect on the trend of the first half of 2022. What have you to say?
We noticed that the market trend of 2021 has established itself during the past months of 2022.
Despite the known problems and current uncertainty, we are working quite well.
Time for a forecast: What can we expect from the stone market in the coming months?
Every day we face the market and try to understand its development.
Unfortunately, the economic uncertainty caused by outside events such as war, expensive energy, and post-pandemic will almost certainly lead to lower sales.
(Claudio Rossi is talking)
Now we meet with Claudio, who shares his impressions of the MeetUP 2022 with us, in his office full of history, geology and art books; this year, as a tribute to Canova on the bicentenary of his death, it was dedicated to tradition as well as to innovation, a very important topic to Marmi Rossi…
In the first half of 2022 we had a lot to do, it seemed to be the much talked about "rebirth".
Unfortunately, the international events of the last months have weakened this dynamic. However, we expected the so-called "technical rebound" and we are still waiting for the next few months to fully define 2022.
When you think about Marmomac 2022, what can you tell us about it?
Despite the absence of big nations such as China, Russia, and Ukraine due to the well-known reasons (war, epidemic - editor's note), the exhibition of the stone industry was a great success: 132 nations were present and over 63% of the visitors came from abroad.
Our company was not represented with an exhibition stand this year, but we noticed that the numbers of this exhibition were almost as high as before the pandemic.
Finally, after almost three years, the return to the original idea of Marmomac, which always takes place at the end of September in Verona: the blaze of colours of the marble stands, which have been daily visited by professionals of the stone industry!
As a person not directly involved in sales, how did you experience the MeetUp 2022?
I discussed this with Giovanni: we are concerned about the current situation in Europe. We very much regret that new clouds have appeared in the sky just as the COVID situation seemed to be improving.
Due to the Russian-Ukrainian war and the high energy prices, the residents of the northern regions of the continent are reluctant to leave their houses and prefer not to travel to make purchases in the stone industry.
This situation is the reason for the uncertainty throughout the stone industry: we will have to wait and see what happens over the coming months...
The event itself went well: we had several customers from abroad, from Germany, Poland, Great Britain... they visited us to view old and new materials.
Particular attention must be paid to the new types of materials, especially to the spectacular quartzites, which are incredibly impressive when viewed on site. As we wanted to pay homage to the great Venetian sculptor Canova who died 200 years ago, we have chosen some of our green quartzites as background colours for the graphics of Canova’s beautiful works.