Coming off its successful presence at the poultry and processing expo in January, Brazil last week once again made a big bet on a major Atlanta trade show.
This time, rather than chicken feed and animal proteins, the Brazilian Consulate General in Atlanta was helping firms showcase their stone products at the annual Coverings conference, the largest tile and stone event in North America.
More than 70 Brazilian companies showcased more than 700 types of natural stone materials at the May 8-11 trade show, which drew exhibitors from more than 40 countries.
Brazilian firms enjoyed more than 15,000 square feet of exhibition space dedicated to their country which presented products under one brand umbrella: Brasil Original Stones. Brazilian government agencies were on hand as well: Apex-Brasil promotes the country’s exports in general, while ABIROCHAS is the tile and stone industry association.
A highly visible presence at the industry’s top event was a no-brainer for Brazil, in part because Brazil’s stone sellers need to understand the preferences of designers, architects, consumers and contractors in a vitally important market.
This is how the Reinaldo Dantas Sampaio, the president of ABIROCHAS, the Brazilian Association of Dimension Stone Industry, put it in materials written for the show:
The event is of fundamental importance for the Brazilian stone industry, since it gathers the major global covering producers and receives visitors from our biggest buyer – the US. Presently, Brazil is the largest supplier of slabs to the American market, which answers for 65 percent of the Brazilian stone export sales. In 2017, Brazilian exported US$1.1 billion, of which $692 million were imported by the U.S.
Mr. Sampaio said despite the hurdles facing Brazil’s economy, producers are investing in quarrying and treatment technologies to improve sustainability and meet the standards of the U.S., which is experiencing a new wave of construction growth.
Brazilian slabs are mostly used in countertops for single-family homes, so Mr. Sampaio sees a big opportunity for Brazil to deepen its penetration in the commercial and multi-family segments.