Economy, Business And Markets

New Problems Defy Tile Industry

New Problems Defy Tile Industry
New Problems Defy Tile Industry

The Iranian Ceramic Products Syndicate (IRCPS) said on Saturday that the country’s tile and ceramics industry is working at only 40% capacity and that many companies are on the verge of bankruptcy due to their inability to pay off bank loans, reported Tasnim news agency.

Mohammad Roshanfekr, an official at IRCPS, said lawmakers at the parliament’s industry committee have recently held a meeting with IRCPS, in a bid to find a solution.

According to Roshanfekr, 60% of the tile and ceramics factories across the country have stopped production due to the downturn in the construction sector.

Over the past two years, the country’s property prices soared causing stagnation in the housing sector. The buying and selling of homes, especially apartments, hit an unprecedented downturn which many analysts believe contributed to economic stagnation.

Tile producers say if the situation in the housing market and the construction sector persists, many construction-related industries, including the tile industry, will witness worsening situation. Tile manufacturers believe because of the devaluation of the national currency in 2012, they are no longer able to clear their debts as they owe large amounts of money to the banking system.

Despite western sanctions imposed on Iran during the past few years, tile and ceramics manufacturers have made attempts in order to retain their export market, said Roshanfekr.

The syndicate is organizing the first international conference on tiles and ceramics at the end of November, an event that could help the industry attract foreign investment.

Until 1960, the production of tiles in the country was done manually in small workshops. After the spread of urbanization, however, and with the advent of technological advancement in mass production, cheap energy, and inexpensive workforce; the production was industrialized.  

At present, the installed capacity of factories across the country combined is more than 600 million square meters per annum, which puts Iran among the top five countries in the world regarding production capacity, after China, Brazil, and India. Over 120 manufacturers inside the country supply domestic and international markets with wall and floor tiles, porcelain products, and granite tiles.