India is a fast-developing country and a large market among developing countries. India, which is the most important economic power of the Asian continent after China, has cooperation opportunities and export potential in many sectors for Turkish companies. As of 2018, the country has become the seventh-largest economy in the world in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). When the sectors that constitute India's GDP are analyzed, it is expected that the annual increase in the services sector will be 9.3% between 2019 and 2024 and it will constitute 48% of the national income in 2024; the industry sector will show an average of 8.7% annual growth of the industry sector in the said period, benefiting from the vibrant investment environment; agricultural sector will remain largely dependent on monsoon rains and as a result of the expected slow growth performance in the agriculture sector in 2019-2024, the income increase in the countryside will be limited. In the last 5 years, the Indian economy has grown by an average of 7.1% annually. India is expected to be the second-largest economy in the world after China in 2030. Depending on the development of the economy, an increase is expected in the industrial production, investments, and foreign trade of India.
Indian natural stone industry is one of the most important industries in India in terms of production, employment, investment, and export. Among the natural stone types, marble is the most consumed one in the market. The construction sector constitutes the largest usage area of natural stones, of which the main consumption areas are the construction sector, fine arts, and decoration. The interior and exterior coatings of the buildings, decorations, monuments, sculptures, and the manufacture of ornaments and souvenirs are some of the significant areas in which natural stones are used. It is especially used as flooring and wall covering in the interior of the buildings, stair steps, columns, fireplaces, kitchens, and bathrooms. It is used as an interior decoration material in the production of tables, coffee tables, and other various furniture. In the field of souvenirs and crafts; colored marbles are used in the production of vases, trinkets, chandeliers, sugar bowl, ashtrays, etc. A significant amount of marble is also used in graves and tombstones.
India, which has the 7th largest area in the world, has a wide range of products in natural stone. Natural stone types include granite, marble, sandstone, limestone, slate, and quartzite. Regions where marble reserves are high: The provinces of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Andhra Pradesh. Rajasthan province is an important marble reservoir that holds 90% of India's total marble production. The provinces of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are the leading regions, especially in fine-grain marble production. New marble types have started to be produced in Bihar, Jammu-Kashmir, Maharashtra, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, and Bengal states.
India's total natural stone imports decreased by 15.6% in 2018 compared to 2017. However, Turkey has continued to increase its market share in the Indian natural stones. Turkey ranked second among the countries from which India imports natural stones, with a 25.1% share in 2017, following Italy. In 2018, Turkey's market share has reached 29.2% and became the largest natural stone supplier for India. Other important import countries are; China, Vietnam, Oman, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, Norway, Greece, Portugal, Brazil, and Spain.
India's natural stone imports are mainly in rough marble block and travertine, which are included in the 2515 GTIP number. Turkey has 44% and Italy has 33% of the market in this product group. Rough marble block imports have been increasing in recent years, while 37% of India's marble import was from Turkey in 2017, the share of Turkey in 2018 increased to 44%.
Considering Turkey's natural stone production and processing capacity, the trade between the two countries in this sector is seen as being at the desired level. While Turkey’s foreign trade volume in the natural stone sector was 154 million dollars in 2017 due to the increase in the exports to India, it was 131 million dollars in 2018 due to the decrease in Turkey’s imports. While Turkey’s exports to India increased by 6.3% in 2018, the imports decreased by 40.7%.
According to the Trademap data, taking the place of Italy, Turkey ranked at the top among the countries that export natural stones to India, of which total natural stone import value was 328 million dollars in 2018. The number of Turkish companies that export natural stones to India was 145 in 2016, 239 in 2017, and 216 in 2018.
In the highly competitive Indian natural stone market, quality, price, variety, and easy accessibility will be the most effective factors in increasing the market share. Therefore, to be successful in this market, Turkish companies should not compromise especially on quality and price. Besides, in order to stand out among other companies in the market, it will be advantageous to enter the market with products that appeal to middle and high-income consumers.
Turkey’s imports from India in the natural stone sector decreased by 40.7% in 2018 compared to the previous year and totaled $ 40.8 million. Approximately 93% of the imports were processed granite. Turkey's import of granite from India, which is an important granite supplier worldwide, results from the insufficient granite reserves in Turkey to meet the domestic demand, and Turkey rarely imports block marble and travertine.
Source: Turkish Ministry of Trade, India Natural Stone Industry On-Site Market Research