1.1 Definition and scope of the study
Slate is a rock from a clay which is part of the shale. It has properties that allow it to split due to its cleavage in the direction of sedimentation. Traditionally used as a roofing material for exterior buildings (roofing and tiles in particular), slate is also a material that can be used indoors, in bathrooms and kitchens (work surfaces). Therefore, the solutions of slate building are considered to be very sustainable and are widely used throughout the world as a building material, both inside and outside the buildings.
As the world's largest market for slate, France imports more than 95% of its needs from Spain, with a few exceptions, as all of its deposits are nearly exhausted (the last major slate operation in France closed in March 2014). According to Les Echos, France alone consumes almost half of the tons of slate produced worldwide and the particular segment of natural slate (representing the largest part of the market) in France is growing, despite a decline in the overall slate market in France.
The slate market is dominated by a number of major players, such as the group Cupa. This leaves little room for new entrants. In order to survive the unfavourable economic climate, the players in the slate market are seeking to reach the specifiers (architects and the general public), and not just the roofers . The largest consumers of slate, after France, are Australia, the Netherlands, Ireland and Poland. New markets are emerging in Finland, Kosovo, Japan, Kuwait and Qatar.
The slate sector is gradually overcoming the technological challenges to offer ever more innovative systems : pre-assembled facade cladding panels for contemporary architecture, or invisible thermal solar panel systems, made of 100% slate, which use its ability to heat easily with solar radiation, even in the absence of sunlight. Slate is a product with unbeatable technical properties which adapts to all projects and brings them considerable added value. Natural slate gives any type of roof or façade an inimitable and timeless appearance that will remain unchanged over time.
1.2 Spain has a virtual monopoly on world production
Spain is the world's largest producer of natural slate. In fact, the country has both the largest and the best reserves of tectonic slate in the world, especially in the north of the country, in Galicia and Castilla de León. Spanish slate is also known for its excellent quality and ...
1.3 The French market in decline
The French slate market is quite particular, since almost all of the volume consumed is imported, due to the lack of slate deposits in France. France is the world's leading consumer of this material, with approximately ***,*** tons of slate installed annually, this high consumption is also linked to regional architectural specificities. ...
1.4 France's foreign trade
Natural slate in its raw state :
As national production is largely insufficient to meet the level of demand, **% of the volume consumed on average is imported, in particular from Spain.
Imports and exports of slate, all product and use categories combined :
By value, in millions of euros
Slate for roofs and ...
2.1 The slate market depends on construction, mainly on new housing
More generally, the demand for building materials, including slate, is largely dependent on the activity of the construction sector (***).
Annual output of the construction sector Europe of **, ****-****, base *** in **** Source: ****
This sector was strongly affected by the **** crisis: at the European level, we note that the sector is facing a ...
2.2 Types of work in individual houses
Types of work undertaken France, ****, % Source: ****
The information presented in the graph above reveals that the main type of work carried out in single-family homes in France in **** was work to improve the home as it was being built. Indeed, in that year, almost one in two homeowners undertook such work ...
2.3 Routine maintenance work in single-family homes
Types of work done by homeowners France, ****, % Source: ****
The graph above shows the routine maintenance work carried out by French owners of single-family homes (***). To date, these individuals are representative of *.* million households owning their own home. We note that roofing works are not the most undertaken works since it is ...
2.4 Work in individual houses
The triggers for the construction of individual houses:
Triggering events for the construction of individual houses France, ****, % Source: ****
Motivations for work in single-family homes France, ****, % Source: ****
Obstacles to the launching of major works, including the roofing:
Disruption of daily life during construction Hesitation related to the time needed to make this ...
3.1 Competitive market structure
Number of companies with less than ** employees in the stone trade market France, ****, total Source: ****
The stone trades market is mainly made up of small businesses, i.e. companies with less than ** employees. In ****, *** companies were engaged in the extraction of ornamental stone (***) in France. This represents only *.*% of companies in ...
3.2 The evolution of market jobs
Changes in the number of employees in ornamental and building stone quarries, including slate France, ****-****, total Source: ****
Over the period ****-****, the number of employees in the ornamental and building stone quarrying market declined from *,*** in France in **** to *,*** in ****. This is mainly due to the slate segment, with the ...
4.1 The different products made from slate
Natural slate :
Natural slate is a metamorphic rock, i.e. a rock found in the earth's crust that has undergone a transformation due to the temperature and pressure of the environment in which it is found. It comes from quarries, whose specificities vary from one region/country to another (***)
Synthetic fibre ...
4.2 The price of slate (roofing)
General calculation logic of a slate roof :
Three factors are taken into account when calculating the price per m² of a slate roof : the type and quality of the slate chosen, the number of slates needed to cover one m² and the type of installation. To determine the number of slates ...
4.3 Advantages and disadvantages of slate roofs
The main advantages of overlapping slate (***) roofs are [***]:
It is a material known for its resistance, since a slate roof can last up to *** years Waterproofing, insulation and strength are known characteristics of slate Fireproof and heat resistant Being a natural material, it is also environmentally friendly
However, natural slate has ...
5.1 Current regulations
The regulations on the quality of slate [***] :
The different qualities of slate are determined according to the European standard EN *****-**, to which is added the Label Marque Norme Française NF *** Ardoises. The European standard is a descriptive reference of physical and chemical characteristics based on three criteria. The resulting ...
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