Kahramanmaras earthquakes happened on the 6th of February, has created a vast amount of human lost and heavy catastrophe in an area of 11 provinces where millions of our citizens are living and this huge disaster has torn our hearts out as a nation.
According to the official numbers, we can describe it as the disaster of the century where more than 50 thousand citizens lost their lives together with over 100 thousand injured ones and hundreds of thousands of wracked or heavily damaged housings.
As the Turkish Ceramic Industry, with all of our members, we have come to alert from the very first moments both at corporate and individual level and mobilized for big and small urgent aids.
We have get into contact and worked with every kind of public institutions and organizations to relieve the wounds of the Kahramanmaras centered earthquake disaster, restoration of the damage in the region, ensure its' re-zoning and rehabilitation and prevent the employee migration.
We condole with the families and relatives of those who lost their lives because of the earthquake, wish quick recovery to those injured and wounds of the earthquake to be healed as soon as possible.
Dear readers, after the year 2021 that has passed very successfully after the pandemic as the ceramic sector, the year 2022 has passed a bit more compelling than 2021 due to the issues like inflation, exchange oppression, increase in energy costs because of the war and projections of these on manufacturing costs. On the last quarter of 2022 and on the first quarter of 2023, Turkish Ceramics Federation has conducted works and various negotiations weighed on energy costs and forest permits of the Sile region's clays.
When we check on the ceramic sector assessments of 2022, we see that the ceramic coating materials exportation with 18,9 % decrease compared to previous year is realized as 123,1 million square meters and with 6 % increase in amount as 1.023 Million $ and in ceramic sanitaryware sector with 8,3 % decrease as 185.242 tons and with 0,3 % decrease in amount as 338.816 M$. We can say that total ceramic sector is closed with a quantitative decrease of 14,5 % and in amount increase of 14,5 %.
There were big increases seen in exportation in the ceramic coating materials sector in 2022. Product coming from India and Iran has increased a lot and this was taken under prevention by making required warnings and negotiations.
Another topic that concerns our sector is; the anti-damping investigation started by the European Commission on 13th December 2021 against the ceramic tiles imported from Turkey and India. The investigation has been concluded and the final decision has been published on the Official Gazette on 9th February 2023 and entered into force. Since the beginning of the investigation, Turkish Ceramics Federation has mobilized all means both with our ministries and Central Anatolian Exporters' Union and carried out all required works and studies in coordination. Under these works, the weight of our activities, information for our members and negotiations with European Ceramic Tile Manufacturers' Federation (CET), Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Industry and Technology, EU Permanent Representative and various embassies have been finalized with consultant company opinions to give sectoral pleads and preparations for Hearing meetings.
Hereby, I would like to express my thanks to the Ministry of Commerce and Brussels Permanent Representative and member companies, the Federation and officials of our Association for their great efforts in all the steps of the investigation.
Dear readers, on 07th - 11th November 2022, the UNICERA International Ceramic Bathroom Kitchen Fair having the feature of being the greatest trade platform of our sector in our country, has hosted many national and international brands in the Istanbul Fair Center. Along with Italy, Spain, France, Portuguese, Greece, Czech Republic, Poland and European countries, Russia, China, UAE, Australia, Colombia and Hong Kong being in the first place, professional visitors coming from over 100 countries have been hosted. Compared to the previous years, the increase in the number of foreign visitors in our fair, has been taken kindly by our sector.
In 2023, the on-going impacts of the earthquakes experienced in February and the distinct slowdown in the growth of developed economies, is continuing to affect our sector. I would like to point out that we are continuing to pull out all the stops to contribute an added value to the national economy despite all the difficult circumstances. I pay my sincerest thanks to all our stakeholders.