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Full recovery of the construction industry in Europe, China's ceramic enterprises can return to the European market?

- Nov 17, 2017 -

Within three years, the construction output in Europe will grow by 8%.

According to the 83rd European Building Congress analysis, the European construction industry will show a slight but significant recovery trend: in 2017 the European construction output will grow 2.9%, while in 2018 will grow 2.4%. In the three-year period 2016-2018, construction output in Europe is likely to increase by 8% (up 2.5% in 2016) while maintaining a conservative estimate of 2% growth in 2019.

In 2016, the residential construction led the overall construction industry in Europe to develop well, increasing by only 5%. However, there are predictions that the growth rate of residential buildings in the next three years will slow down. The growth rate in 2017 may be 3.7%. The growth rate in 2018 may be 2.3% and in 2019 it will drop to 1.7%.

In contrast, new residential buildings have enjoyed sustained high growth, with an increase of 8.8% in 2016. According to forecasts, the output of new residential buildings will also increase by 6.8% in 2017. However, it is undeniable that the construction of new residential buildings in Europe will face a clear decline in the next three years.

In the meantime, the renovation of residential buildings will continue to expand at an annual rate of 1.5%. The development of residential renovation in 2017 will take the lead in meeting and surpassing the pre-crisis level of development.

New residential construction experienced the longest sustained strong growth in 2016, an increase of 8.8%, which is expected to grow this year will also be expanded to 6.8%, but in 2018-2019 this growth rate will slow significantly. Residential renovations, on the other hand, have been growing at an annual rate of 1.5%, which will put 2017 production ahead of and above pre-crisis levels.

The development of non-residential buildings appears weaker. According to the conference's forecast, the growth in this area in 2017 was only 2.3%. In 2018 and 2019 it even dropped to 1.8% and 1.2% respectively. The growth of new buildings starts in 2016, compared with other areas, the recovery time is later. Expansion will be more sluggish after an initial 2.5% increase in 2016 and 2.8% in 2017, likely to be 1.9% in 2018 and 1.0% in 2019. Like residential buildings, the average annual growth rate of renovations in this area is 1.5%.

2017-2019 Hungary's construction industry is the most anticipated and performing . The local government stimulated the development of new residential buildings and it is expected to grow at an average annual growth rate of 14.9% over the next three years.

Ireland will also see outstanding performance, with the construction industry in Ireland growing at an annual rate of over 10% in 2014-2016. In the next three years, Ireland will still grow at an average annual rate of 7.7%; Poland will grow at an average annual rate of 5.5%; the Czech Republic will grow at an average annual rate of 4.3%; Portugal will grow at an average annual rate of 4.1% .

Export to Europe must have CE certification, in line with the CPR regulations and European standards.

The next three years, the European construction industry is relatively objective, especially the growth of new residential buildings. However, our ceramic tiles export to Europe faces various difficulties, and the export volume continues to decline. In 2016, the total amount of ceramic tiles exported to the EU in China was 16 million square meters, accounting for 1.6% of China's total exports, a decrease of 20% over the same period of last year; while the export volume of ceramic tiles to non-EU countries in Europe decreased by 9% . Total exports in year 2016 are T10 million square meters, accounting for only 1% of China's total exports.

Although Europe is no longer a key market for China's ceramic tile exports, it still has potential for development, especially under the new situation of the transformation and upgrading of China's ceramic industry. Therefore, our ceramic tile exporters still have to understand the relevant ceramic tile export certification and assessment procedures.

In simple terms, if we want to export our tiles to Europe, first of all CE certification is the key to enter the European market . CE Peugeot is a safety certification mark rather than a quality certification mark, which belongs to the mandatory certification mark. Whether it is produced by members of the EU or other countries, in order to get free circulation in the EU market, all products  must have the CE mark .

After obtaining the qualification of CE compulsory certification, our tiles manufacturers or tiles traders should pay attention to the latest EU building products regulations (305/2011 / EU-CPR), which is more strict compared to the old CPD Building Products Directive (89/106 / EEC -CPD) . NEU-CPR regulations present brand new requirements on the flow of circulation of products through traders, importers and distributors .Any building products, involving health, safety and environmental protection must  be affixed CE mark before entering the EU market.

Not only that, on basis of the requirements on original manufacturers of building products, the new laws and regulations put forward new compulsory requirements for the traders, importers and distributors .And provide a unified performance evaluation method for building products to enter the European Union,which ensures the reliability of performance information of all building products by using a common technical standard.

After the relevant directives, conformity assessment procedures, China's ceramic tile exporters or manufacturers have to settle down to the ceramic tile product standards and packaging, marking and other aspects. In general, the ceramic tiles exported to Europe are generally divided into five categories (E≤0.5%, 0.5% <E≤3%, 3% <E≤6%, 6% <E≤10 %, E> 10%). With different water absorption, there are big differences in abrasion resistance, crack resistance, stain resistance, acid and alkali and other aspects . So we must have clear understanding of all the standards, so as to avoid unnecessary losses.


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