Impact of COVID-19 on the Global Ceramic Tile Market
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a substantial negative impact on the construction industry, although the legal repercussions differ from region to region and contract to contract. On the contractual side, there is more focus on the international consulting firms, which provide guidelines and standards such as FIDIC (International Federation of Consulting Engineers) and NEC. The current stage of the pandemic has made construction projects difficult to complete. The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak is slowing down the growth of the construction industry, causing disruption and delay, which can be attributed to several disrupted supply chains. A few governments have also instructed the shutdown of certain businesses across regions. Most residential and non-residential construction projects have been ordered to be shut down. The ceramic tile manufacturers and the overall construction industry are expected to face several challenges as most of the housing projects are expected to be left incomplete due to supply chain disruptions, cash flow constraints, and production shutdown. The almost zero construction activity at project sites has further put a strain on several manufacturers' and developers’ financial situation.
The top players in the ceramic tiles market are expected to continue to face volume growth challenges in the next few quarters, considering the current production shutdown along with reduced demand. With the prevailing excess supply situation in the tile industry, prices are likely to come under pressure in the coming year. For instance, Morbi, one of the leading ceramic tile manufacturers, is also facing challenges despite the near-term shutdown. However, the ceramic tile industry may gain traction as Indian ceramic tile exports to GCC countries and newer export markets such as the US, Indonesia, and Thailand have become functional again. Exports are expected to gain notable traction in the next 2-3 years. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, laborers have migrated back to their respective native lands. Thus, due to a shortage of labor, the timely completion of projects has also become a major challenge for ceramic tile manufacturers. Additionally, due to supply chain disruption and contractual implications, many manufacturers are also facing problems in acquiring cheap input material as the manufacturing units are closed.
Apart from the factors mentioned above, consumer purchasing behavior is also expected to impact the overall ceramic tile market, as consumers are not willing to invest in housing projects owing to limited per capita incomes and fears of unemployment. Thus, the ceramic tile buyers are expected to delay their purchasing decisions for as long as possible, leading to a pile-up of unsold stocks. Therefore, looking at the current scenario, the ceramic tiles market is expected to register a stagnant growth rate in the next few years.
FDI INVESTMENTs IN TOP COUNTRIES, 2016–2019 (USD MILLION)