Vitoria Stone Group Stock
Reference in elegance and refinement, the marbles and granites of Capixabas embellish more and more luxurious constructions Brazil and world apart. The stones extracted in Espírito Santo are present in famous works such as Praça dos Três Poderes, in Brasília – where the buildings of the Planalto Palace, the National Congress and the Federal Supreme Court are located – and in the subway of Rio de Janeiro.
Since the first block of marble was removed in 1957, in Prosperidade, municipality of Vargem Alta – at the time belonging to Cachoeiro de Itapemirim – there are 60 years of history of the sector of rocks of Espírito Santo. Removal of this material was done in a rustic way, using hoes and shovels. Then the block was dragged on the ground by donkey wagons to the railroad.
Today much has changed, and the sector generates 135 thousand direct and indirect jobs, owns the largest park of stone processing in Brazil and is the largest exporter of ornamental stones in the country. According to the Union of Ornamental Rocks Companies of Espírito Santo (Sindirochas-ES), the segment has 1,650 companies and accounts for 81% of Brazilian exports, with a great diversity of materials. Capixaba production represents about 8% of the local Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Ornamental rocks have a prominent role in the economy of the state of Espírito Santo, generating employment and income in several municipalities, especially in the cities located in the Southern Region,” said State Secretary for Development, José Eduardo Azevedo. He points out that in the history of the segment, the marble and granite fairs occupy a special chapter in the state economy. “Annually held in Vitória and Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, events have become traditional in the world market and contribute to moving the business not only in Brazil but also in several countries. To complete 60 years is a sign that the sector is strengthening, but in order to remain competitive, it must continue investing in modernization, technology and security, challenges that deserve the permanent attention of companies, “adds the secretary.
Before, due to lack of appropriate technology, the rocks were exported almost in the raw state. But the industry began adding value to the products and the marble and granite blocks gave way to plates and other polished pieces, materials that cost up to five times more. In 2017, for example, up to August, 795.6 thousand tons of ornamental stones were exported, while sales of marble and granite blocks accounted for 423.3 thousand tons. This is a strategy to expand the markets, according to Olívia Tirello, the superintendent of Centrorochas (Brazilian Center for Exporters of Ornamental Stones), which has been based on the acquisition of machinery and equipment to improve the process of processing in the industrial parks of the state of Espírito Santo. The executive said that after the impact of the economic crisis that began in 2008 in the United States, the segment began to diversify the buying markets and expanded the portfolio.
EXPORTS LEVER THE SECTOR
A combination of factors, such as the poor performance of civil construction in the domestic economy, the reduction in credit supply and the scenario of the Brazilian political and economic crisis, led the ornamental stone sector to revise the figures for 2017. Initially, the sector growth of 5%. The new projection, however, estimates a draw with last year’s results, when domestic production declined 2.1%, according to the Brazilian Association of the Ornamental Rocks Industry (Abirochas).
In Espírito Santo, after a start of the year below expectations and oscillation over the months, the numbers began to stabilize. In August, sales of plate exports (US $ 74.82 million) exceeded the same month last year (US $ 71.41 million). Although in the accumulated of the year the billing was 2.55% lower than in the same period of 2016, Sindirochas says that there is a certain optimism with the increase of 19.20% in the price of the ornamental rocks of Espírito Santo, in relation to August 2016 In the year to date, the increase was 5.28% in relation to the same period of last year. “With the domestic market inhibited, the search for compensation was overseas. To achieve the same revenue for 2016, we are trying to increase the volume of shipments and seek continuous improvement and innovation as alternatives to sustain the segment, “says Tales Machado, president of Sindirochas.