The ceramic sector activates gas demand and recovers 94% of pre-Covid consumption

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The tile remains unstoppable in the middle of the second wave of the coronavirus. Demand grows in the main markets and exports are already practically in the same figures as last year when no one could imagine the pandemic that was going to brand this financial year 2020.

The consumption of natural gas is also an unequivocal example of the behavior of the industry’s billing and, here, the data is conclusive. Gas demand natural tile is growing at a monthly average of around 5% since last September.

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At this time, the industrial demand for natural gas in the tile sector in the Valencian Community is accumulated 94% compared to the previous year, reaching 22 terawatts (TW) as of November 22, 2020, according to the latest data provided by the Enagás company.

In this way, the tile sector of the Valencian Community, whose production is practically concentrated entirely in the province of Castellón, accumulates a consumption of natural gas that is just 6% lower than the same period of the previous year, and it is necessary to know the evolution of the month of December.

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The data is undoubtedly demonstrate the strength of the province’s ceramic cluster Castellón at a particularly difficult time for the economy and society as a whole, as well as its pulling power with respect to other activities.


The internationalization of the industry is one of the keys that support this good evolution of the tile after a first impact of the Covid that was lethal in the income statements of the companies during the first stages of the pandemic.

In this sense, it should be remembered that with the latest foreign trade data from the ceramic sector up to September, the tile has practically already traced the sharp falls caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in its shipments abroad.

In fact, from January to September 2020, the accumulated of export stands at 2,167.3 million euros, which represents a slight drop of 0.7% with respect to the same period of the previous year, as shown in the sectoral statistics of the Territorial Directorate of Commerce.

The acceleration of exports has been registered in the last few months. During the month of September, tile exports reached a value of 268.5 million euros, which represented a 26.5% increase with respect to the same period of the previous year. But the comeback started in the summer.

Ceramic companies in the region exported 14% more products in the interannual rate in June. Specifically, they sold for 264.7 million.

In July, the tile reissued the rise with a 14.4% growth and a total value of 304.5 million euros in the whole of the Valencian Community. A month later, in August, the sector sold 250.4 million euros worth of products abroad, which represented a growth of 17.7% compared to the same period of the previous year.

The Tile Employer Ascer released estimates that, for the moment and fortunately, are far from the latest foreign trade data. Ascer estimated that the fall in exports at the end of this financial year 2020 would be in a range that would range between 6% and 14%, depending on the health pandemic. Thus, the average drop in exports estimated by Ascer for the current year was 10% compared to the previous year, far from the percentage accumulated up to September (-0.7%).

worker affiliation grows 2.9%

The ceramic sector in the province of Castellón maintains positive employment figures despite the economic situation adverse due to the effects of Covid-19.

The number of workers affiliated with Social Security in the tile sector increased 2.9% from September 2019 to the same month of this year, so at the end of the ninth month of 2020, there were 367 more employees than a year ago in the ceramic companies of the Castellón regions.

The evolution also remained positive compared to the end of last year, with a percentage increase of 0.7% in the same period, which means that enrollment has increased by 86 workers from December until the end of the past month of September.

The good evolution in the affiliation has also been registered as far as the temporary regulation of employment is concerned. That’s the way it is, in front of 50 ERTE that had been approved in the ceramic sector in the second quarter of the year, it happened just 10 in the third trimester, that is to say at the end of September.

The number of affected workers also fell considerably in the last quarter analyzed. Thus, while in the 50 ERTE approved in the period from April to June there were 6,067 workers in temporary employment regulation, a quarter later, the figure was reduced to 498 workers, which are those affected by the 10 ERTEs approved in this period.

However, it must be emphasized that it is not possible to know how many of the approved files are in execution or have simply been agreed to have this tool in the event of needing it in the coming months, depending on the evolution of the health pandemic and its effects on the economy.

Likewise, it should also be noted that it is not all cases of new companies, since many of the ERTE approved are from companies that repeat request to maintain this mechanism in case it is necessary to take advantage of a temporary employment regulation in the future, since uncertainty remains.

the savior of foreign trade
Castellon. The province of Castellón maintains a better evolution than the whole of the Community and the national average. Exports have fallen by 8.7% from January to September, but in the Valencian Community the decrease has been 11.2% and 12 , 6% in the case of Spain.
Tile. The good evolution of the tile has a lot to do with the lower fall of the province compared to other territories. Exports from the province of Castellón in September reached a value of 567.2 million euros, which represents a drop of 0.6%, the lowest recorded since Covid-19.
Community. The evolution of the Valencian Community is also being better than the national average. Faced with a fall of 11.2%, other neighboring communities, such as Catalonia, have seen their exports fall further (-14.1%) in the accumulated until September. The value of the products exported from the Valencian Community from January to September reaches a value of 20,546 million euros, according to the latest data published by the Ministry.

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