The Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, received the president of the Brazilian Center for Ornamental Stones Exporters (Centrorochas), Tales Machado, and a group formed by about the 30 largest exporters of the segment in the country, in a virtual audience this Wednesday ( 04/05). The meeting took place through the intermediary of the Federal Deputy and Vice-leader of the Government in the Chamber, Evair de Melo, and was attended by the vice-president of the National Confederation of Industry (CNI), Léo de Castro.
At the meeting, Tales Machado updated Guedes on advances in the Brazilian stone sector, which broke a historic record for exports in 2021. Between January and December last year, the national segment earned US$1.34 billion with shipments of US$2.4 million of tons of materials to 132 countries spread across five continents, registering growth of 35.5% in relation to 2020. Admired by the numbers, the Minister said that the stone trade is one of the few in which Brazil has a surplus with the States United. “In many cases we are losing in a rout”, he said good-naturedly.
“I think your aggressive performance is spectacular. Before I met Deputy Evair, I didn’t know the strength of this industry. At the time we talked about making this competition more fair with the other coating sectors, I think we did justice and now we are moving in a slightly more aggressive direction, which is really trying to reindustrialize Brazil”, completed Guedes referring to isonomy tax referring to the IPI (Tax on Industrialized Products) levied on items intended for paving or coating, originating from ornamental stones. The decree, dated August 23, 2021, defined a unified rate of 1% of the IPI levied on these products.
“For 20 years the Brazilian stone sector fought for equal treatment between the coating sectors and it was with the support of Deputy Evair, who after constant dialogues with Minister Paulo Guedes and his technical team, support from the Federation of Industries of Espírito Santo ( Findes), that we achieved this achievement. Now, we are even happier with the reduction of another 35% on the tax. We can only thank you for all the support that the Federal Government has given to our segment”, celebrated Tales.
The president of Centrorochas, Tales Machado, told Minister Paulo Guedes that despite being a moment of gratitude, he would like to make a request in the certainty that he would have the understanding and commitment of the Minister. The request presented was in favor of overcoming the logistical bottleneck in exports that faces not only the stone sector, but also that of coffee, pepper, ginger, and many other goods produced in the state of Espírito Santo. There are records that a contract has just been closed for the export of 500 containers of one of these products, but being transported by road to São Paulo, due to the lack of a firm option in the State. Tales informed Guedes that each and every container leaving Espírito Santo depends on cabotage transport or long journeys by road, generating increased costs and transit time, negatively impacting the competitiveness of Espírito Santo industries. The Minister asked some questions about the envisaged alternatives and demonstrated that he will help in the search for support for the feasibility, having even asked Deputy Evair to evaluate with the affected sectors and indicate, among the existing port alternatives, which one should be concentrated efforts.
Being the subject of thanks to the Federal Government, represented at the meeting by Minister Paulo Guedes, for understanding the importance of having a national entity formed by entrepreneurs in the sector in its management, the sectoral agreement signed by Centrorochas and ApexBrasil, registers yet another excellent result in your actions. After Brazil recorded its record in ornamental stone exports in 2021, the sector had a remarkable participation in Coverings 2022, the largest and most traditional North American fair in the covering segment, having registered the largest area occupied by the Brazilian Pavilion, considering all editions of the fair. Between April 5th and 8th, seventy-three companies from the sector participated in the Brazilian Pavilion organized by It’s Natural – Brazilian Natural Stone, a sector project to support and develop exports in the sector, managed by Centrorochas in partnership with the Brazilian Promotion Agency of Exports and Investments (ApexBrasil). “In addition to the success in occupying space, where we recorded the largest area occupied by the Brazilian ornamental stone pavilion, we accounted, in the four days of the fair, US$ 32 million in direct business”, detailed Tales.
The ornamental stone trade keeps Brazil united with all continents. The United States appears in the lead as the largest consumer of the national segment. In 2021, the country absorbed 62.7% of all
Brazilian exports; at the same time, the USA has Brazil as its main supplier. “Last year, we were responsible for sending 23.28% of all the rocks consumed there. China was in second place, with around 17%”, explained the president of Centrorochas.
“The stone sector adds a lot to the Brazilian trade balance and I am proud to say that Espírito Santo, the state I represent, concentrates around 82% of all that is exported. This is a very aggressive sector from a commercial point of view and technically very well prepared”, said Federal Deputy Evair de Melo, referring to the more than 480,000 direct and indirect jobs generated by the sector in the country.