Pamesa Cerámica or Porcelanosa, two of the most powerful Spanish tile companies, are traveling to the United States this week to participate in the Coverings’23 fair held in Orlando. In total there will be 54 member companies of Ascer, the ceramic employers’ association based in Castelló de la Plana, which will seek to boost their sales in the foreign market by participating in this event that brings together professionals from the ceramic wall and flooring sector every year.
According to the figures provided by Ascer, the US market occupies the first position in the ranking of export destinations for Spanish ceramics and increased in value by more than 15% in 2022 compared to 2021, representing just over 516 million euro. As a whole, Spain remains in the lead, being the largest exporter in volume of ceramics to the United States, despite the crisis of loss of competitiveness that tiles have suffered in the last year.
The tile employers explain that foreign sales continue to increase in volume although with a “clear downward trend”, since they insist that demand has fallen in recent months due to the loss of competitiveness, in an inflationary context and rising costs of production.
“We are the sector in the Valencian Community that decreases the most,” they explain from Ascer
The industrial production of the tile sector fell by 15% between January and December 2022 and the analysis of the same indicator in February shows a reduction of 30.87% compared to the same period of the previous year. Thus, from Ascer they explain that production in the sector continues to be affected, chaining up to ten months with drops in production: “We are the sector in the Valencian Community that decreases the most,” the same sources point out. And although they note that production has recovered “slightly”, they recall that “we continue with production levels below what is usual in the sector”.
Effect on employment
673 jobs destroyed since 2022
Meanwhile, the effects of the fall in industrial production are also perceived in the employment generated by the sector, which is going through difficult times with several active ERTEs and various EREs that are already beginning to reduce the overall figures for employment that it generates, mainly in the Castellon province. Of the former, in 2022 a total of 97 were presented, affecting 11,687 jobs, while this year there are already 11 active ERTEs affecting 568 workers. The concern also resides in how some of these temporary files have become job terminations, since last year there were eight EREs with 431 jobs destroyed and so far this year (and up to March 27) there have been four other ERE with 242 affected.
With these numbers the sector travels these days to the United States, where the Tile Of Spain pavilion will host some seventy companies, most of them Ascer associates. There they will exhibit the internal products, the artistic design and the advanced technologies of Spanish ceramics in various formats: there will be scheduled interviews but also the direct recording of a podcast on the world of Spanish ceramics.