Costello. Last July, the European Union signed a free trade agreement with New Zealand. The agreement removes all tariffs on exports from the EU to the South and seeks to improve trade between the two regions. But how important is this market to the main industry of the province of Castellón? Above all, could this deal open up an opportunity for the ceramic industry?
According to data from the Spanish Association of Ceramic Tile and Floor Manufacturers (ASCER). New Zealand ranks 84th in the ranking of destination countries for Spanish ceramic tiles.. In 2022, tile exports to New Zealand were worth €6.4 million, up 1% from the figure recorded in 2021. However, in the current environment of subdued global demand, sales are projected to decline in the first half of 2023. 3 million worth of Spanish ceramics were exported from January to June, about 6% to the maritime nation.
Competition from China and India
The main problem facing the tile industry in this market is undoubtedly distance. The difficulty of shipping material to Spain’s Antipodes makes the process more expensive and delays delivery times. That’s the reason The New Zealand market mainly supplies demand for ceramics from a giant such as China., which is not wasted, is the country’s most important trading partner. In addition, producing countries such as Vietnam and India also supply ceramics to New Zealand.
Despite this, the strength of the New Zealand construction and real estate sector after the lockdown due to the pandemic in recent years It also led to increased imports of Spanish tiles. According to ICEX data, A During these ten years there was a significant increase in Castellone exports to New Zealand (This is almost similar to the sale of ceramic products). Thus, the data reflects an increase in exports of more than 88% between 2020 and 2021, reflecting a rebound in construction after the lockdown. It is important to note that the province exported more than 2 million euros to New Zealand in 2013 and has exported 7.7 million euros in 2021. 5.9 million in 2022.
Castellon reserve in New Zealand
In fact, says Porcelanosa Grupo, which has three authorized distribution centers in the country Since the pandemic, the group’s sales to New Zealand have increased by 20%, their expected numbers will continue to increase following the signing of this free trade agreement. “These are measures that will help reduce a major disadvantage of the New Zealand market, which is the distance during loading,” explains the company’s commercial director. Jose Maria Segarra. While Vila-Real points to the giant maritime nation as a “good market”, they acknowledge that both New Zealand and Australia are “very dependent on Chinese ceramics”.
Besides Porcelanosa, Neolith is another Castellon company that has decided to open a distribution center in New Zealand. A company specializing in sintered stone has already received the keys to the premises they intend to occupy. According to Almazora Company, The distribution center is planned to be operational by mid-2024.
Organize the process
Beyond the elimination of tariffs, which in New Zealand’s case are not too high, the agreement allows for a substantial reduction in compliance requirements and procedures to allow for the rapid flow of goods. According to a report prepared by the Chambers of Commerce, these include information exchange, cooperation, more efficient customs procedures (simplified and digitized) and the development of more affordable technology requirements.
The Council of Chambers emphasized the “strong dynamism of Valencian exports to the New Zealand market”. In the last ten years, exports from the Valencian community to this country have increased fivefold, “although the most significant is the sale of the automobile sector in this market.” However, the ceramic industry is one of the largest market share holders in this country. That is why this report mentions Azulejo is among the best sectors to take advantage of this deal’s opportunities Free trade.
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