José Luís Bonet, president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, has expressed support, on behalf of the institution he represents, for the ceramics industry. Bonet thus joins María Dolores Guillamón, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Castellón, in a proactive tribute.
Guillamón drew attention to the ceramic tile and floor production sector and the need to send the necessary aid to support and protect the industry’s competitiveness. The ceramics sector has proved to be crucial for the Spanish economic recovery, reconfirming itself, despite the difficulties, as an international point of reference in terms of technology, innovation, design, and product quality.
An overview of the Spanish sector
The Spanish ceramics industry generates 17,180 direct jobs (85% have permanent contracts, and four indirect jobs are created for each). The sector is mainly concentrated in the province of Castellón, in eastern Spain. The province is home to over 80% of the companies in the sector, responsible for about 97% of the national production.
The sector, as confirmed by Guillamón, continues its commitment to reducing CO2 emissions. A reduction of close to 62% compared to 1980 data.
The increase in energy prices
However, the resilient ceramics industry has been hit by energy costs. Compared to the total energy cost of 939 million euros in 2021, companies had to pay 2,125 million euros for gas and 440 million for electricity.
These data are reflected in the reduction of production (-15%) and demand (-11%), despite overall growth in sales (+17%), influenced by the increase in prices to compensate for energy costs.
The risk that the Spanish ceramics industry will lose competitiveness both in markets that cannot absorb the increase in costs and within the European Union is more real than ever.
For all these reasons and in defense of the sector, the Chamber of Commerce of Castellón echoes this delicate situation and, with the support of the Chamber of Spain, requests the explicit support of the public administrations for the ceramics sector as a whole, urging the adjustment of direct aid of 450 million euros, announced by the Spanish government.