Saturday, April 29, 2006

Stone in China

A look at the current situation

China has turned into a natural stone giant with rapid development, particularly in the last five years. There are meanwhile four main regions for natural stone production and handling imports and exports: the provinces of Shandong, Fujian, Sichuan and Guangdong. The key centres of Chinese stone processing have been created mainly in Shandong, Fujian and Guangdong. Their chief function is to process local and imported materials into products for decorative interior finishing. Large quantities of natural stone are also imported for processing into gravestones for the Japanese and Korean market. The annual sales ??#118alue is about 500 million US dollars. About 50,000 companies currently operate in the stone sector in China. Their annual slab production is 160 ?C 180 million square metres.

There are two regional sales channels for natural stone products in China: First individual companies set up sales networks with branches in several different places. Second special Ā»stone marketsĀ« are set up on the outskirts of the cities, where the sales branches of several hundred companies are combined under one roof.

Most of the machinery and equipment for extraction, processing, installation and maintenance can now be manufactured to meet the requirements in China itself, but there is still a large gap between China and the highly mechanized industrial countries in the high-tech machinery sector.

The demand for natural stone materials in the domestic building industry is the key to the continuing upward trend in the Chinese stone industry, as living space is still in short supply in China. The building industry should remain the most important pillar of the Chinese economy in the next ten years. The consumption of natural stone materials is to top the 300 million square metres mark and the import volume is to reach a ??#118alue of 1,000 million US dollars. Natural stone imports are still concentrated on materials not obtainable in China.
Machinery manufacture will develop into another key export branch in addition to the export of large quantities of natural stone. Chinese machinery is currently gaining market shares especially in the Middle East, North America and Eastern Europe. The export volume in 2004 was some 30 million US dollars. The Chinese stone industry has also developed decisively through the introduction of modern extraction and processing techniques. Today, diamond wires, large cranes, loaders and other high-tech machines and equipment are also used in Chinese quarries.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Xiamen Stone, Mantain Resplendent

"The stone in the world focuses on China, the stone in China focuese on Fujian, and the stone in Fujian focuses on Xiamen". That is not excessive at all saying good reputation to Xiamen because it is the city performs the forward position of Chinese reform and opening-up. For over 20 years, Xiamen people has created a unprecedented world with their intelligence and sweat for Chinese development of stone industry.

China have very abundant natural stone resources, which have established the favorable base for the development of Chinese stone industry. In China, people will think of Fujian if you mention stone and will think of Xiamen if you mention Fujian. Xiamen has already developed into the biggest stone foreign trade port of our country and the stone logistics trade center.

The stone is the traditional large export trade in Xiamen. It has been occupying the important position all the time in the foreign export of Xiamen for a long time. Moreover, more than 60% of the stone are imported and exported through port of Xiamen in the whole country, over 1000000 tons of stone are imported in Xiamen, and stone import-export volume exceeds 1700 million dollars in 2005, therefore, Xiamen has already become the biggest stone material trade base of our country and the logistics trade center in the world.

Construct a high-efficient and high-quality platform in order to promote the information exchange and cooperation among the same trade, stone enterprieses form a locally and non-profit-making trade organization-Xiamen Stone Chamber. Since the establishment of the chamber, to bridge the correlative parties, providing member enterprises with communication with other same profession all over the world. It diligently plays a role in sharing of complementary advantages among parties and striving for a win-win situation, while endeavoring to consolidate the advantages of the industry to advance overall competitiveness. The chamber undertakes to launch exchange and cooperation activities for stone industry organizations at home and abroad; it aims at pushing forward the globalization and modernization of Xiamen stone industry, and promoting the international popularity and influence of Xiamen as a stone export base of China.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Natural Stone

Understanding a little about the nature of marbles and granites will help you to appreciate the importance of a specialised cleaning and maintenance program.

Dimensional natural stone is quarried from massive deposits or formations, many millions of years old. The resulting blocks are cut to required thickness, and usually have one surface honed or polished. Tiles and panels are mostly cut to size in the originating factory, and then packed for further shipment. Items such as table and bench tops, vanity tops and furniture are generally made to your specific requirements from polished random slabs. All of these finishers have something in common: each surface is essentially a cross section of the material - as it originally appeared in the massive deposit. A processed surface reveals the unmistakeable character of that piece of natural stone.

A honed or polished surface is achieved by grinding the cut face with successively finer grades of abrasive. A honed finish stops short of a full polish, and is a viable surface treatment for flooring. Less "compact" materials such as sandstones and some limestones cannot always be polished and routinely are offered in a honed finish. Other marbles and harder limestones that can be easily polished are sometimes honed to take advantage of the simple fact that minor wear and tear is not obvious on a surface that has an overall "sheen" rather than a "mirror finish" polish

A polished surface, however, is the only way to fully appreciate the colour and pattern of natural stone, and is far more popular. When a surface "closes" over and a polish is achieved the true colours of the natural stone can be fully appreciated, along with the intricacies of the pattern or veining. A polished surface is not an applied finish, and cannot easily be replicated, but it has the advantage that it is relatively impervious to minor soiling by denying dirt particles a rough surface to adhere to. Accordingly, a polished stone surface can be very easy to maintain, in addition to looking great.

A polished surface doesn't change the nature of the stone, and cannot by itself protect the material from all the influences that may be encountered in daily use over the years. Remember that we are dealing with a cross section of the stone. That cross section can unlock the secret of the stone's hidden colours and patterns, but in doing so it can expose the stone to elements for which no natural protection is afforded.

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Monday, October 17, 2005

Import and export of natural stone in China

The foreign trade turnover of Chinese natural stone is still registering high growth rates, particularly for imports. According to Hou Jianhua, statistician and editor at the national Chinese natural stone association, the import volume between 2000 and 2004 rose from 1.73 million tons worth 400 million US$ to 4.21 million tons worth 750 million US$. This equates to an 88 % rise in turnover in money terms.

The quantity of natural stone imported rose by a factor of 1.43. The most popular kinds of natural stone for import are marble in rough or slab form and rough granite. Domestic production cannot cover the heavy demand for these popular materials. Natural stone is a material with characteristic local variations and inimitable distinctiveness.

The demand and with it stone imports to China will therefore continue to increase, with forecast annual growth rates of well over 15 %. Trade between China and foreign countries is usually handled by setting up agencies in China, via sale on commission or through joint ventures and other long-term business relationships. It is also usual for companies to exhibit at trade fairs, although more for image care reasons.

The Chinese export figures for natural stone are also rising: from 6.55 million tons worth 815 million US$ in 2000 to 9.43 million tons worth 1,676 million US$ in 2004. This means turnover has more than doubled in money terms, with the quantity of natural stone exported increasing by a factor of 1.44. China exports natural stone to 126 countries and regions throughout the world.